Members Tackle Stakeholder Process at Super Forum

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PJM members started the wheels turning for a possible fine-tuning of the stakeholder process at the Stakeholder Process Super Forum Wednesday.

Members used survey results as a jumping-off point to develop a chart of specific issues they would like to see addressed, possibly in a problem statement to bring in front of the Members Committee.

Mike Borgatti, chair of the Members Committee and Dave Anders, director – Stakeholder Affairs, led members through the survey results and the compilation of what might be included in the problem statement going forward.

“Usually, we use polls to winnow things down, kick a few things off the island,” Borgatti said. “But that’s not what we meant to do with this.”

Borgatti and Anders also presented a list of observations, based on the survey results, to illustrate the areas with strong agreement among stakeholders (and those where they do not agree).

“We’re not here to boil the ocean,” said Borgatti. “We want to figure out what would be the top three or four bullet points in the middle of a problem statement. It’s the chance to say, ‘these are the things we would like to consider.’”

He acknowledged that revamping the stakeholder process might be a “weighty undertaking. It behooves us to focus on a few things that we can accomplish. [The process] is about what you want.”

Anders started the meeting by laying out the historic timeline for how the stakeholder process evolved, especially since the establishment of the 1997 Operating Agreement. He said while many members are familiar with the history, the presentation provided a level of understanding for all stakeholders and guaranteed that everyone had a consistent baseline.

Member Suggestions

The members looked at grouping the issues into three buckets – Stop, Start or Continue.

One concern was the need for better awareness of potential impacts of legal and regulatory matters during the consensus-based issue resolution process. Another was the handling of motions brought up at senior committee meetings. Anders pointed out that there are ongoing conversations on those topics at the Stakeholder Process Forum meetings.

Members recommended having a consistent process for situations when there are related ongoing procedures at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This would include enhanced education and cost impacts outlined in proposals from the very beginning – which is a special concern of the stakeholders who represent load concerns. One stakeholder summarized the recommendations as “making sure we’re all on bus before we take a ride.”

Some stakeholders suggested that batching smaller issues together – items that might get lost among the big-picture issues – would be beneficial. Others wondered whether developing a new type of process for issues that are not likely to reach consensus might benefit the process.