The Weekly Word: National Parks partnership with oil and gas, plus Bakken feedstock

In this week’s installment of The Weekly Word, Professor Heins checks in from Baltimore, MD, where the 129th Annual Meeting and Education Conference for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

Heins gives an update on the theme of the conference and what people are talking about.  He also shares a short story about North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak.

Host Jason Spiess and Heins talk about a topic that is happening in small circles regarding the National Parks.  Whether it makes sense to have oil and gas work closer with the National Parks as a means to fund the federal parks program.  Innovation, history and the industry’s progress in reclaimation are all topics on the table with the National Parks.


I would like to thank Jason Spiess for his great photo accompanying our Interview from Baltimore. The NARUC Annual Conference was a gathering of Utility Policy Wonks, Engineers and other interested parties. When I was trying to think like an Utility Commission at the Baltimore Conference, I realized that the world of energy, economic development, the long term future and the resulting environment are their ultimate responsibility, while they have been living in the shadow of the Clean Power Plan since 2015 if not earlier.

As a private sector advocate, I believe many individual states could very well become the successful energy experiments for which the American democracy is famous.

With the planet’s future on the line, we all have to think a little like a Utility Commissioner to make sure we as Americans are the maker of efficient energy, reducer of emissions, and practitioner of energy efficiency. Steve