Moderated by: Coral Davenport, Energy and Environment Correspondent, National Journal
Rick Boucher, Head of Government Strategies Group, Sidley Austin
Ralph Cavanaugh, Co-Director, Energy Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
Jim Hunter, Utilities Director, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Dan Utech, Deputy Director for Energy and Climate Change, Domestic Policy Council, The White House
RICK BOUCHER serves as the head of Sidley’s Government Strategies group. He focuses his practice on counseling clients whose business needs require the development of public policy strategies in the telecommunications, life sciences, energy and the environment, and financial services industries. Prior to joining Sidley, Mr. Boucher served for 28 years in the U.S. House of Representatives as Virginia’s 9th District Congressman.
He has represented a range of Sidley clients in Congressional investigations counseling them on the expectations of the investigating committee, advising them on the presentation of written material to the committee, interacting with members of the committee on their behalf and preparing their witnesses for investigative hearings.
During his Congressional tenure he served on the House Energy and Commerce and Judiciary Committees and chaired the subcommittees on Energy and Air Quality; and Communications, Technology and the Internet. He carved out a role as a trusted bipartisan leader on critical issues.
He was a leading participant in every major telecommunications policy debate over the past 25 years. A subcommittee that he chaired oversaw the commercialization of the Internet and its transition from a government-owned R&D project, and he authored the 1992 law that permitted the first commercial use of the Internet. He was one of two co-founders of the Congressional Internet Caucus, and served as co-chairman of the 170 member group for 15 years. Mr. Boucher was instrumental in drafting the initial legislation providing privacy rights for Internet users and has been a longstanding proponent of fair use opportunities for digital media purchasers.
In the areas of energy and the environment, he helped to fashion the Clean Air Amendments of 1990 and was a major participant in the formulation of greenhouse gas control legislation, having worked extensively with business leaders to achieve a legislative balance that garnered the support of the business community. In that effort, he organized and chaired 28 days of hearings on global climate change and drafted cap and trade legislation for greenhouse gas control which became the foundation for the legislation that passed the House in 2009.
In addition to his energy and telecommunications-related work, Mr. Boucher drafted and introduced the Bipartisan Free Flow of Information Act, and was the lead Democratic co-sponsor of both the Comprehensive Bankruptcy Reform and Class-Action Reform measures, signed into law by President George W. Bush.
Mr. Boucher also served in the Virginia Senate for seven years and before entering public service was in the private practice of law for 12 years in New York and Virginia.
Ralph Cavanagh is a senior attorney and co-director of NRDC's energy program, which he joined in 1979. In addition, Ralph has been a Lecturer on Law at Harvard and a Visiting Professor of Law at Stanford and UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall), and from 1993-2003 he served as a member of the U.S. Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board. His current board memberships include the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the California Clean Energy Fund, the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, the Renewable Northwest Project, the Northwest Energy Coalition, and the Sustainable Energy Advisory Board of Texas-based Energy Future Holdings. Ralph has received the Heinz Award for Public Policy, the Yale Law School's Preiskel-Silverman Fellowship, the Lifetime Achievement in Energy Efficiency Award from California's Flex Your Power Campaign, the Headwaters Award from the Northwest Energy Coalition, and the Bonneville Power Administration's Award for Exceptional Public Service. He is a graduate of Yale College and the Yale Law School. He is married to Deborah Rhode, who is the MacFarland Professor of Law at Stanford Law School.
Coral Davenport is the energy and environment correspondent for National Journal. Prior to joining National Journal in 2010, Ms. Davenport covered energy and environment for Politico, and before that, for Congressional Quarterly. In 2010, she was a fellow with the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting. From 2001 to 2004, Ms. Davenport worked in Athens, Greece, as a correspondent for numerous publications, including the Christian Science Monitor and USA Today, covering politics, economics, international relations and terrorism in southeastern Europe. She also covered the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, and was a contributing writer to the “Fodor’s, Time Out, Eyewitness and Funseekers’” guidebook series. Ms. Davenport started her journalism career at the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, Massachusetts, after graduating from Smith College with a degree in English literature.
Jim Hunter is the Utilities Director for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Dan Utech is the Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change. Prior to joining the White House, Dan served as a Senior Advisor to Energy Secretary Steven Chu. He joined the Administration after 10 years in the Senate, where he worked on a wide range of energy and environmental policy issues.