FRI Spotlight

FRI Welcomes New Advisory Board Members

September 10, 2021 We are happy to announce our newest Advisory Board members: Christina Baker, Chairman Kent Chandler, Kristy Hartman, Commissioner Gabriella Passidomo, Kari Gehrke and Matt Rice. Longer bios for these four distinguished people (and all of our Advisory Board members) are available on the FRI Members page. Christina Lynn Baker, P.E., J.D., is…

POV: New Jersey and PJM Initiate State Agreement Approach

September 10, 2021 Written by Joseph Fiordaliso, President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. Direct questions to Ryann Reagan and Joseph DeLosa on the NJBPU staff. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) took a monumental step on November 18, 2020, becoming the first state to integrate its offshore wind transmission objectives…

2021 Public Utility Symposium Moved to Virtual

August 26, 2021 We have made the difficult decision to hold the 2021 FRI Symposium entirely virtual this year. The thought of leaving the virtual meeting world was exciting, but the reality is that travel is still not as safe and reliable as we want it to be, and the responsible decision is to acknowledge…

POV: Achieving Water Equity: Assessing Water Access Beyond Affordability

August 11, 2021 Written by Robert F. Powelson, President & CEO of National Association of Water Companies With infrastructure taking the spotlight in Washington since January and COVID-19’s ongoing impact, there’s certainly been a renewed focus on the essential role water service plays in protecting public health -- and rightfully so. At the same time,…

FRI Welcomes Dr. Adrienne Ohler

June 17, 2021 FRI is excited to announce the addition of Dr. Adrienne Ohler to the FRI team, effective July 1, 2021. Dr. Ohler is an Associate Research Professor at the University of Missouri with appointments in the Division of Applied Social Sciences and the School of Medicine. She has published several papers related to…

POV: Billions of Reasons to Invest in Broadband Infrastructure

June 16, 2021 Written by Elin Swanson Katz, VP of Utilities at Tilson They say timing is everything, and if a utility broadband project is anywhere on the horizon, now is the time to act.  While the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be winding down, one of the many challenges it has exposed is the number…

POV: A State Regulator Perspective on the Future of Nuclear Energy

May 17, 2021 Written by Former Commissioner Sadzi Martha Oliva, Legal and Policy Advisors Alejandro Mateos and Kealie Vogel, and Policy Intern Haley Bracken of the Illinois Commerce Commission Disclaimer: All views expressed within this article are the authors’ own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Illinois Commerce Commission or the Illinois…

David K. Owens Selected for 2021 Crystal Award

April 27, 2021 FRI has selected David K. Owens as recipient of the 2021 Crystal Award for Distinguished Service. Owens is President and Energy Consultant at Da'VAS, LLC. He retired in 2017 as Executive Vice President of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI). He is…

POV: Focus on Water Cybersecurity Now, Before It’s Too Late

April 14, 2021 Written by Robert F. Powelson, President & CEO of National Association of Water Companies Oldsmar, Florida, made headlines earlier this year.  A hacker gained access to the county utility’s water treatment control systems and dramatically raised…

Illinois Commissioner Maria S. Bocanegra Joins FRI Advisory Board

April 1, 2021 -- We are pleased to welcome Commissioner Maria S. Bocanegra from the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to the FRI Advisory Board. Commissioner Bocanegra replaces Commissioner Emeritus Sadzi Oliva as the ICC's representative on the FRI Board. Commissioner Bocanegra was appointed to the Illinois Commerce Commission on April 8, 2019 to a four-year…

POV: Emergency Management–Our Future

March 24, 2021 Written by Sarah Ruen Blanchard, FRI Advisory Board member The utility industry has long prioritized safety and reliability, but the frequency and duration of emergency events that we must manage through today are unlike those of the past. We can reasonably expect there will be hurricanes in Florida and blizzards in the…

Nebraska Commission Chair Dan Watermeier Joins FRI Advisory Board

March 12, 2021 -- We are pleased to welcome Dan Watermeier, Chair of the Nebraska Public Service Commission, to the FRI Advisory Board. Mr. Watermeier was elected for a six-year term on the Commission in November 2018 representing Nebraska's District 1, comprised of eight counties in Southeastern Nebraska. Prior to joining the Commission, he served…

POV: A New Point of View

March 3, 2021 Written by: Dr. Michael Sykuta, Executive Director, FRI Many of us spent much of last year wondering,"What will life be like after 2020?" While we still have a ways to go before we'll see just how much life is changed, I can say that, for me personally, taking on the role of…

Same FRI, New Home and New Opportunities

February 2, 2021 -- During January 2021, the Financial Research Institute (FRI) moved to a new home on the University of Missouri campus along with new academic leadership as part of the Division of Applied Social Sciences (DASS). Since its founding in 1988, the FRI had been housed within the (now) Robert J. Trulaske, Sr.…

Commissioner Sadzi Oliva on Cybersecurity

February 12, 2021 -- FRI Board Member and Illinois Commerce Commissioner Sadzi Oliva was recently featured in Public Utilities Fortnightly writing about Cybersecurity. Her piece is particularly timely in light of a recent cyber hack of a water treatment facility in Florida You can read Commissioner Oliva's thoughts on the PUF website.

FRI Selects Kenneth Colburn as 2020 Crystal Award Recipient

The FRI Crystal Award was created to recognize an individual who has made outstanding and sustained contributions to the design, implementation or analysis of public utility regulatory policy. The award is presented annually during the FRI Symposium.