2021 Policy Makers Symposium Schedule

NCEW Policy Makers Symposium is proud to have weeklong programming. You’ll hear directly from the “who’s who” in clean energy decision making – including Republican and Democratic policymakers and top influencers in clean energy investment, innovation, and policy. You’ll also have an opportunity to participate in networking events and collaboration opportunities, building strong relationships across the country as easily as next door – from wherever you are.


Tuesday, September 21 // Innovation: Accelerating Low Carbon Breakthroughs

11:45 AM ET

Opening Remarks

  • Heather Reams, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions

12:00 - 1:30 PM ET

Carbon-Free Technologies Needed for A Net-Zero Future

Undeterred by the economics of the global pandemic, record numbers of U.S. companies and utilities are committing to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century. Panelists from these companies will discuss the technologies they are developing, investing in, and integrating into their operations to reach emissions-reductions goals. From next generation nuclear power to carbon capture
in industrial processes to long-duration battery storage, the private sector is demonstrating leadership in helping to expand the use of promising new technologies crucial to building a low-carbon economy.


  • Armond Cohen, Executive Director, Clean Air Task Force (CATF)
  • Jeff Lyng, Director, Energy and Environmental Policy, Xcel Energy 
  • David Hart, Senior Fellow, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) 
  • MODERATOR: Emily Fisher, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, and Senior Vice President, Clean Energy, Edison Electric Institute (EEI)

2:00 - 2:15 PM ET

Afternoon Keynote

  • Jigar Shah, Director, Loan Programs Office at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

2:30 - 3:30 PM ET

Policies Needed to Make Breakthrough Innovation Possible

From the industrial revolution to the digital revolution, American innovation has reshaped the world. This is in large part thanks to two core features of our innovation landscape: a hands-off regulatory approach that doesn’t require permission to build the future, and a market- oriented approach focuses on complementary roles for the private sector, federal and state government, academia, and philanthropy. Important legislation was passed at the end of 2020 to move the needle on technological innovation, with the Energy Act of 2020 authorizing $34 billion for clean energy research, development, and related programs over the next five years. Yet continued investment is needed to maintain American leadership in innovation for clean energy technologies and ensure energy security during the transition to a low-carbon future. Panelists will focus on policies to incentivize clean energy innovation, and how federal policymakers can build on the significant progress made to further support cutting-edge research and development.


  • Eric Dresselhuys, CEO, ESS, Inc.
  • Tom Dower, Vice President, Public Policy, LanzaTech 
  • Richard Meyer, Vice President of Energy Markets, Analysis and Standards, American Gas Association (AGA)
  • Ben Reinke, Senior Director of Corporate Strategy and Advisor to the CEO, X-energy 
  • MODERATOR: Farah Benahmed, U.S. Policy and Advocacy, Breakthrough Energy

3:30 PM ET

Closing Remarks

  • Gerry Anderson, Executive Chairman, DTE Energy and EEI Board Chairman

Wednesday, September 22 // Addressing Challenges

10:00-10:15 AM ET

Morning Keynote

  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

10:30 -11:30 AM ET

Critical Minerals, Supply Chains, and Industry

In the wake of the pandemic, there is a renewed emphasis on local supply chains for critical minerals essential to clean energy, domestic manufacturing, and job creation in hard-to-decarbonize industrial sectors. Panelists will discuss the importance of addressing U.S. supply chains, examine emissions reductions needs, and technical and policy solutions that can help reduce emissions and grow jobs. As a part of the conversation, panelists will address accounting for “embedded” carbon and highlight prospects for a U.S. comparative advantage in low-impact mining, clean industry, and trade.


  • Dr. Anthony Staley, Vice President, Metals Division, The Doe Run Company
  • Brett Smith, Senior Director of Government Relations, American Iron and Steel Institute
  • Josh Reiner, Director of Government Affairs, Portland Cement Association
  • MODERATOR: Abigail Regitsky, U.S. Policy and Advocacy, Breakthrough Energy

11:30 AM ET

Fireside Chat


  • Ralph Izzo, Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)
  • Charles Hernick, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, CRES Forum

2:30 - 3:30 PM ET

Energy is Infrastructure

Many of the nation’s bridges and waterways are in disrepair and our grid has shown signs of stress. The transition to a low-carbon economy depends fundamentally on the expansion of clean energy infrastructure, such as transmission and energy storage capabilities. Yet far too often, projects that are desperately needed to ensure grid resilience and modernization are delayed for years because of cumbersome and duplicative permitting requirements. Join our panelists for a discussion on the investments that are most urgently needed and on policies that can help create a more efficient process to build out our nation’s infrastructure.


  • John Di Stasio, President, Large Public Power Council 
  • Patrick Decostre, President and CEO, Boralex, Inc.
  • Stacey Lawson, Vice Chairman, Ygrene Board of Directors
  • Malcolm Woolf, President and CEO of the National Hydropower Association (NHA)
  • MODERATOR: Lisa Jacobson, President, Business Council for Sustainable Energy

Thursday, September 23 // The International Landscape

10:00-10:15 AM ET

Morning Keynote

  • Sue Biniaz, Deputy to Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry,  Department of State

10:30 - 11:30 AM ET

What to Expect at COP26: Will it Be Enough?

The U.S., the E.U., the U.K., Japan, and other developed economies have committed to aggressive 2030 reductions and mid-century net-zero targets. The U.S. and its allies have pushed other countries to take more ambitious action, using the U.S.-led Major Economies Forum and multilateral fora to build an international consensus.  Still, those efforts have met resistance from China and India, for example, in the G20.  This panel will review the Biden administration’s success so far and preview the likely outcome at COP26.  It will answer the all-important question – will these multilateral efforts be enough to mitigate the climate crisis?


  • George David Banks, fellow at CRES Forum and Bipartisan Policy Center and former international climate adviser to Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump
  • Kim Carnahan, Senior Director, Net-Zero Fuels at ENGIE Impact, and Adjunct Professor, School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University
  • Alden Meyer, Senior Associate, E3G, and International Policy Adviser, BlueGreen Alliance
  • Moderator: Jim Connaughton, CEO at Nautilus Data Technologies, former Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and lead climate negotiator for the George W. Bush White House

2:00 - 2:15 PM ET

Afternoon Keynote

  • Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK)

2:30 - 3:30 PM ET

Leveraging U.S. Policy to Reduce Global Emissions

The U.S. has reduced its emissions more than any other country in the world since 2005, and its share of global pollution is shrinking rapidly.  China, on the other hand, emits more greenhouses than the U.S., the EU, and Japan combined.  Between now and 2050, China and the developing world will account for more than 100% of the growth in global emissions.  Unfortunately, the world is not on pace to maintain global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius.  To achieve the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, the U.S., in coordination with its allies, must leverage its policies to reverse this baseline scenario and accelerate the greening of global supply chains.  But what will be the strategy?


  • Catrina Rorke, Vice President of Policy, Climate Leadership Council 
  • Rich Powell, Executive Director, Clear Path 
  • Dustin Meyer, Vice President, Natural Gas Markets, American Petroleum Institute (API)
  • Moderator: Charles Hernick, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, CRES Forum

4:00 PM ET


  • David Turk, Deputy Secretary, DOE

4:15 PM ET

Closing Remarks

  • Heather Reams, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions