Discussions about U.S. energy policy typically focus on Washington, where the White House, Congress and agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dominate the headlines. This makes it easy to overlook the roles played by state regulators, whose vital decisions affect the flow of energy locally and how much consumers pay for electricity and natural gas.

With that in mind, host Bill Loveless sat down with John “Jack” Betkoski III, the new president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), to talk about challenges facing state regulators at a time when innovative technology, a changing climate and shifting public attitudes are disrupting traditional energy markets.

As Jack notes in the podcast, “We’re the ones in the trenches. We’re the ones who deal with utilities on a regular basis.”

Jack, the vice chairman of the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, and Bill met outside NARUC’s 2018 Winter Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., where more than 1,000 state regulators and others gathered.

Among the topics that Bill and Jack discussed are: The energy-water nexus—the primary theme of Jack’s NARUC presidency; Recent actions by FERC on electricity resilience and reliability; Public opposition to new gas pipeline construction; Concerns over the volatility of recent storms; The outlook for renewable energy, nuclear energy.