Join the Center on Global Energy Policy for our final session in this series of student-only virtual discussions with David Hill, CGEP Adjunct Senior Research Scholar, and Cheryl LaFleur, CGEP Distinguished Visiting Research Scholar and former Commissioner and Chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, addressing current energy topics from a policy and legal perspective.

The Northeastern United States is currently grappling with some of the most timely and controversial issues in energy and environmental policy. The decisions made in New England and New York in the coming months and years, will be important drivers of how the US addresses energy and climate imperatives, and balances state and federal policy choices. In this session, Cheryl LaFleur and David Hill will discuss their unique perspectives on the following issues: 

  • Adapting market rules to state climate laws-- how do we both sustain the benefits of markets and meet state objectives?
  • Can carbon pricing in the markets solve this dilemma, and why is it so politically controversial?
  • How fast can the states drive electrification of transportation and heating, and how much will that drive grid expansion?
  • Can new resources like off-shore wind, storage, and transmission be built fast enough to enable a larger decarbonized grid?
  • What role will natural gas play in the future grid?

This session will be highly interactive, with a majority of the time devoted to discussion among the participants. Upon registration, students will receive a list of articles or other materials to review prior to the session.



David R. Hill

David R. Hill is an adjunct senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. He also is a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Independent System Operator and has an energy consulting firm in Princeton, NJ. 

From 2012 to 2018, Mr. Hill was Executive Vice President & General Counsel of NRG Energy, Inc., where he was responsible for the company’s legal, regulatory, environmental, and government affairs matters. He also served as EVP & GC of NRG Yield, Inc. from 2012 to 2018. 

Prior to joining NRG, Mr. Hill was a partner and co-head of the energy practice at Sidley Austin LLP in Washington, DC. From 2005 to 2009 he served as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Energy, and for three years before that was DOE’s Deputy General Counsel for Energy Policy. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hill was a partner at Wiley, Rein & Fielding in Washington, D.C., and at Blackwell Sanders in Kansas City, Missouri.

He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and a law degree from the Northwestern University School of Law, where he served as Editor in Chief of the Northwestern University Law Review.


Cheryl A. LaFleur

Cheryl A. LaFleur is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy, focusing primarily on the adaptation of the electric and natural gas sectors to the challenges of climate change. LaFleur also serves on the Board of Directors of ISO New England, the organization that plans and operates the power system and administers wholesale electricity markets for New England. 

Previously, LaFleur was one of the longest-serving commissioners on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), nominated by President Obama in 2010 and serving until 2019. She served as Chairman from 2014-15 and as Acting Chairman from 2013-14 and during 2017. During a decade of change in the nation's energy industry, power supply, and political leadership, she helped FERC respond to challenges and opportunities across the electric, natural gas, and oil sectors.

Prior to joining FERC, LaFleur had more than 20 years’ experience as a leader in the electric and natural gas industry, including as executive vice president and acting CEO of National Grid USA. She began her career as an attorney at Ropes and Gray in Boston. She has a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an A.B. from Princeton University.