The year 2018 promises to be an important one for electric power markets in the United States, including for energy policies that govern the way electricity is generated, delivered and used. Among the important developments will be the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s response to a controversial cost-recovery proposal by the Trump administration for coal and nuclear plants and the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to replace the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.

All this comes as electric power markets in the United States continue to undergo disruption, with natural gas and renewable energy gaining ground on coal and nuclear power, and innovations such as microgrids, energy storage and analytics promising even bigger changes in the electricity business.

On a this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless discusses the changes sweeping the industry, as well as the significance of public policy, with Mauricio Gutierrez, President and CEO of NRG Energy, one of the largest competitive power generators in the U.S. and a major energy retailer, serving nearly three-million customers throughout the country.

Mauricio joined NRG in 2004. He has served as Chief Operating Officer, led NRG's engineering and construction activities related to new generation and repowering projects, and he has overseen commodities trading as Executive Vice President, Commercial Operations and Senior Vice President, Commodities Trading. Prior to NRG, he was Managing Director of the Southeast and Texas regions for Dynegy and a senior consultant and project manager at Mexico City-based DTP Consultores.

Among many topics Bill and Mauricio discuss, several include: The future of competitive power markets in the U.S.; Reliability and resilience of the grid; Impacts of President Trump's efforts to save coal and nuclear power; Efforts by the power sector to reduce carbon emissions.