National Capital Area Chapter of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics

NCAC Featured Member

 

Profile List

Featured Member

December 2016

 

Charles Foster

Program Manager at OurEnergyPolicy.org

 

 

Olinyk

Please note your affiliation and years of experience in the energy and/or environmental field, and any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention.

I am a Program Manager with OurEnergyPolicy.org in Washington, DC as well as an attorney in Virginia. In 2004, I started out as a research assistant with a landfill gas development firm in Virginia. I focused primarily on state and federal policies designed to support the development of renewable energy. Later on, I worked with the Army supporting the development of clean energy projects at military facilities as a member of the Energy Initiatives Task Force (now the Office of Energy Initiatives).

 

Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?

Recently, I have enjoyed learning more about how competitive wholesale power markets function. This year was interesting since the Supreme Court decided two important cases reviewing how activities, even when wholly intrastate or traditionally within the purview of a state commission’s authority, can actually be regulated by FERC if they distort competitive wholesale markets. Although the court cabined its holding in each case to the facts presented, these decisions give some important insight into the scope of FERC’s regulatory authority since the court overwhelmingly ruled in the agency's favor each time.

In your opinion, what are important economic/policy issues facing the energy industry nowadays?

The electric power sector is facing some current challenges. From congressional inquiries into the overall competitiveness of wholesale electric markets to state commissions debating net metering rate design for retail customers, investor owned utilities are grappling with some tough issues. In addition, the industry’s rapid migration from coal to natural gas and the number of utility mergers suggests the electric power sector is evolving quickly.

 

How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?

I was encouraged to join by Garry Tyran when we collaborated on a joint happy hour between OurEnergyPolicy.org and NCAC. Garry spoke highly of the organization’s collegial nature and diverse community. In April, I joined after attending NCAC’s Energy Policy Conference at Georgetown. Although I’m relatively new, I have enjoyed speaking with other members and learning about their energy backgrounds.