The United States’ electric power grid continues to experience significant risks that threaten its ability to provide reliable and resilient electric power. This essential infrastructure faces a confluence of current and emerging challenges:
- Demand is increasing as the United States grows and reindustrializes its economy while rapidly electrifying the vehicle fleet.
- Incremental transmission capacity is imperative but faces permitting obstacles and regulatory barriers.
- Traditional resources will remain essential to meet demand but may struggle to remain viable as the grid evolves.
- External threats including cyber and physical attacks, weather extremes, and generation and transmission deficiencies threaten our grid’s resilience.
Abundant, affordable and reliable sources of electricity—and an accompanying expansion of transmission infrastructure—are a national security requirement, but our current policies are inadequate to address these known risks. A candid assessment of challenges and opportunities, and a fresh dialogue between industry and government is needed to break the stalemate.
The first in a five-part series from SAFE’s Grid Security Project, Grid in Peril set the stage for an important dialogue.
Moderated by Bloomberg’s Naureen Malik, the webinar featured a panel of experts who dived deep into the report, the risks, and solutions to shore up our electric power grid for the future.
- Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
- Representative Bob Latta (R-OH5)
- Paul Segal, CEO, LS Power
- Brett Perlman, President and CEO of the Center for Houston’s Future
- Admiral Michelle J. Howard (Ret.), Former Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa
- Thomas Coleman, Director of SAFE’s Grid Security Project
Paul Segal, Chief Executive Officer, LS Power
Paul Segal serves as the Chief Executive Officer of LS Power and is a member of the Management Committee and Investment Committee, overseeing one of the largest independent power and transmission developers in the United States. Prior to being named CEO in 2011, Mr. Segal oversaw LS Power’s asset management and renewables development activities. In 2002, Mr. Segal founded Luminus Management, a hedge fund which invested across the capital structure of publicly-traded power, energy, utility and related companies. He was President and Portfolio Manager until 2011 and sold the business in 2017. Mr. Segal began his career at Smith Barney as a generalist in the mergers and acquisitions Investment Banking group.
Mr. Segal graduated with highest honors from the Rutgers College of Engineering with a B.S. in Bio-Chemical Engineering.
Mr. Segal is a member of the Mount Sinai Department of Medicine Advisory Board, the Weill Cornell Medicine Dean’s Council, the board of the Digestive Disease Research Foundation, and the Advisory Board of the NYU Law School’s Institute for Policy Integrity.
Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
John Hickenlooper took an unconventional path to public office. After starting out as a geologist, John took a chance by opening the first brewpub in Colorado. As a small business owner, he
gained a deep understanding of the local community and the value of collaboration. John entered public service because he knew he could listen to the diverse array of Colorado voices and get things done. As Colorado’s U.S. Senator, John is committed to bringing people together to solve our country’s toughest problems.
John was raised by a strong single mother after he lost his father to cancer when he was just eight years old. He remembers his father teaching him that if you can learn to laugh at something, it can never beat you. John has carried that lesson throughout his life.
John started his career in Colorado as a geologist. After being laid off in the long recession of the mid-80’s, he opened the state’s first brewpub in a neglected warehouse district in Lower Downtown (LoDo) Denver. He and his partners started multiple businesses, renovating nearly a full block of LoDo warehouses in mixed-use developments that included 90 units of affordable housing. His company led the renovation efforts of more than a dozen historic buildings in cities across the Midwest. In 2003, John was elected Mayor of Denver. As Mayor, he focused on bringing people together to get things done, just as he’d done as an entrepreneur. He unified all 34 metro mayors to fund and build FasTracks, the most ambitious U.S. transit initiative in modern American history with 119 miles of new track. John made Denver the first large city to provide quality early childhood education for every 4-year old, initiated the most significant police reforms in the City’s history, and opened one of the first offices of sustainability in the country.
John served as Governor of Colorado from 2011 to 2019. During his tenure, Colorado’s economy recovered from ranking 40th in job creation during the Great Recession to become the number one economy in the country (U.S. News & World Report). As Governor, he expanded health care to half a million Coloradans, established climate pollution limits that served as a national model, and enacted commonsense gun safety measures. He also oversaw the creation of the first regulatory framework in the U.S. for the legalization of recreational marijuana, which has become the gold standard. John is honored to serve the people of Colorado in the U.S. Senate. From traveling the state to sit down with farmers and small business owners to chairing committee hearings in Washington, John serves in the Senate with the appreciation that when he casts a vote, he represents all of Colorado.
Representative Bob Latta (R-OH5)
Since 2007, Congressman Bob Latta has served the people of Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives.
Congressman Latta is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee where he plays an intricate role in crafting the nation’s energy, telecommunications, environment, health care, and interstate commerce policy. Congressman Latta is the chair of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology where he advocates for policies that help consumers, grow our economy, spur innovation, and close the digital divide. He is also a member of the Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security and the Subcommittee on Health. In previous Congresses, Congressman Latta served on the House Budget Committee, the House Agriculture Committee, and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
Along with his committee positions, Congressman Latta is a Deputy Whip and Co-Chairs the Rural Broadband Caucus and the Congressional Propane Caucus. Congressman Latta has had 28 bills and provisions signed into law during his Congressional tenure.
Congressman Latta has successfully advanced key legislation to bolster the United States’ electric grid. This includes the Critical Electric Infrastructure Act, a law protecting America’s power grid by providing private entities and the federal government with the tools needed to respond and alleviate grid security emergencies; the Cyber Sense Act, a law to help identify and promote cyber-secure products for use in the bulk-power system; and the Enhancing Grid Security through Public-Private Partnerships Act, a law that would improve sharing of best practices and data collection and provide training and technical assistance to electric utilities to address and mitigate cybersecurity risks.
Throughout his tenure, Congressman Latta has advocated for the interests of the people of Northwest and West Central Ohio through policies that further economic prosperity and job creation. His top priorities on behalf of his constituents include improving access to broadband capabilities in rural areas, reducing government spending, maintaining a strong national defense, combating the nation’s substance abuse crisis, fighting for energy independence, and implementing commonsense government reforms.
Congressman Latta is an avid sportsman and lifelong resident of Northwest Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Bowling Green State University and his Juris Doctor degree at the University of Toledo College of Law. He and his wife, Marcia, live in Bowling Green, and they have two daughters, Elizabeth and Maria.
Admiral Michelle J. Howard (Ret.), Former Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa
Michelle J. Howard served 35 years in the United States Navy. She led Sailors and Marines multiple times in her career as the Commander of: a ship, an Expeditionary Strike Group, Task Force, and a Naval theater. Her last command was from 2016 to 2017 as U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa. She simultaneously led NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command Naples with oversight of missions from the Western Balkans to Iraq. Operations in her career include: NATO peacekeeping, West African Training Cruise, Indonesia Tsunami Relief operations, and the rescue of Maersk Alabama from Somali Pirates. Michelle J. Howard is a Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran.
In 1999 Michelle J. Howard became the first African-American woman to command a ship in the Navy. In 2014, she was the first woman to become a four-star Admiral in the U.S. Navy and the first woman to be appointed to the position of Vice Chief of Naval Operations (number two in a Military Service). She is the first African American woman to reach the rank of three-star and four-stars in the Armed Forces.
Brett A. Perlman, Chief Executive Officer, Center for Houston’s Future
Prior to becoming the CEO of the Center, Brett A. Perlman was a Fellow at the Harvard Electricity Policy Group and the Consortium for Energy Policy Research, programs in the Harvard Kennedy School Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government.
In 2016, he was a Fellow in the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative (ALI), an innovative program composed of 50 experienced global leaders focused on developing new approaches to having an impact and solving the world’s most pressing social issues. http://advancedleadership.harvard.edu/
His work at Harvard focuses on the intersection of climate change, energy policy and technology innovation.
Prior to his appointment as a Harvard Fellow, his 25-year career spanned senior positions in business, government and community service organizations.
Perlman served for four years as a Commissioner on the Public Utility Commission of Texas, where he was appointed in 1999 by then-Governor George W. Bush. While in public service, he led the successful restructuring of Texas’ $37 billion electric utility industry and $4 billion telecommunications industry as these markets opened to competition. As a result of Perlman’s efforts, Texas has been widely recognized as an international model for successful electric market restructuring.
Following his government service, he founded Vector Advisors, an entrepreneurial management consulting firm that serves telecommunications and energy clients. His consulting practice specializes on advising senior corporate executives on strategy, business development, marketing, policy and regulatory issues and mergers and acquisitions.
Recent engagements include advising private equity, hedge funds, and venture capital firms, serving major energy companies such as NRG Energy and Entergy and working on clean energy issues with Fortune 500 and entrepreneurial companies and academic institutions, including EnerNOC, Johnson Controls, Nest Labs, and the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston.
In addition to his consulting work, Mr. Perlman has served as a corporate director and strategic advisor to several public and private-equity funded companies. He has been an independent Director of Just Energy Group, a NYSE and TSX listed gas and electricity retailer since 2013 and serves on the Audit, Risk and Compensation committees. In addition, he has previously served as an independent Director to several early stage companies. He also has been a co-founder and Board member of two technology incubator and accelerators. Earlier in his career, he was a consultant with McKinsey & Company (1993-1999) and has practiced law with major firms in Houston and Washington, D.C. He holds advanced degrees in public policy from Harvard University and in law from the University of Texas, and was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Northwestern University.