Ted Craver, chairman and CEO of Edison International, was elected chairman of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the national association of investor-owned electric companies, international affiliates and industry associates worldwide.
The election occurred June 10 during EEI’s annual meeting in Las Vegas. The Institute’s chairmanship rotates on an annual basis, and Craver replaced outgoing EEI chairman Michael Yackira, CEO of Las Vegas, Nevada-based NV Energy.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ted Craver as EEI chairman. His experience, passion for the industry and drive for innovation will make him a great leader for EEI during this exciting and transformational time for our industry,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn.
Also elected for the 2014-2015 term were three vice chairmen: Nick Akins, chairman and CEO of Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric Power; Tom Fanning, chairman and CEO of Atlanta, Georgia-based Southern Company; and Chris Crane, president and CEO of Chicago, Illinois-based Exelon Corporation.
Craver said the major issues facing the electric utility industry — and the top priorities for EEI — are positioning the nation’s electric grid for a future that includes distributed generation such as rooftop solar, energy storage and electric vehicles; new emissions regulations, especially from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and corporate tax reform.
“For me, the number one issue for us at EEI is how our industry is going to respond to the new competitors entering the electric power business, such as the rooftop solar marketers,” Craver said. “We are building a next generation grid that supports our customer choices in distributed generation, including solar. This next generation grid is more flexible and capable of handling two-way flow of electricity, provides the platform that new services and technologies can plug into.”
Regarding new EPA air quality regulations, Craver noted that California has taken significant steps to reduce carbon emissions, but more work will be needed to achieve the state’s target in the EPA’s proposed New Source Performance Standards for existing fossil-fueled power plants.
He said the industry looks forward to working with the EPA in developing national rules, which are aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by 30 percent by the year 2030.
"The part I feel pretty good about is the industry once again has demonstrated its ability to work in a collaborative way, a constructive way with EPA," said Craver. “The EPA has asked for comments, and we intend to give them comments. We want a good rule.”
Finally, on corporate taxes, Craver said, “On the national level, we need to work toward some kind of tax reform. At the core, my view — and I think the leadership view at EEI — is what would be the most constructive is for all of the different subsidies in the energy industry — oil, gas, nuclear, renewable — to be dropped in exchange for a lower overall corporate tax rate.”
Craver has been chairman and CEO of Edison International, parent company of Southern California Edison and Edison Energy, since August 2008. Previously, Craver was chairman and CEO of Edison Mission Group from 2005 to 2008. Before that, he was executive vice president of Edison International, and held the position of chief financial officer and treasurer from 2000 through 2004. Craver serves on the boards of directors of the Electric Power Research Institute and Health Net, Inc. He also serves on the board of trustees of the Autry National Center and the California board of trustees of The Nature Conservancy.
Edison Electric Institute, based in Washington, D.C., is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Its members provide electricity for 220 million Americans, operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and directly employ more than 500,000 people.