Connecting the Dots Between Electricity & Water, and Offering Solutions

Drought Threatens Texas’ Power

Legislative Briefing

February 2, 2012,  2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Texas Capitol, Legislative Conference Center, E2.002

Purpose:  Provide an educational forum on drought and water issues in relation to electric reliability, and opening discussion of short and long term solutions.


Welcome: Theodore “Tod” S. Wickersham, Jr. – Businesses for an Energy Efficient Texas coalition

Guest Introductions: Moderator Tom Fitzpatrick

Brief guest presentations

  • Cris Eugster, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer for CPS Energy Topic: One community’s strategies for new energy economy

Panel discussion

Open forum: identify related issues where additional information or education events would be useful


Biographies of Distinguished Guest Panel

Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon is the Texas State Climatologist and Regents Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University.  He received his Ph.D. from MIT in 1990. He teaches weather forecasting, atmospheric dynamics, and climatology, and his research areas include heavy rainfall, data analysis, air pollution, and droughts.

Dr. Carey King is a Research Associate at the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin.  His research interests include: energy and renewable energy generation, usage, conservation, policy, and education; decision making and policy for efficient use of natural resources based upon natural capitalistic, embodied energy, and life cycle approaches with numerical optimization; the nexus of water and energy; and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and multistable equilibrium system design. Carey received both his B.S. with high honors and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Mark Armentrout is President and CEO of Texas Technology Partners, with 30 years experience in electricity, information technology, oil and gas, renewables, and banking and a Managing Director of the Texas Institute, an independent nonprofit institute for sustainable technology research, located at the University of Texas at Dallas.  From 2005 through 2008, Mr. Armentrout served as Board Chair of ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

Cris Eugster is Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer for CPS Energy, the municipally owned utility of the City of San Antonio.  As Chief Sustainability Officer, he is charged with helping transform CPS Energy from a successful conventional power company to a utility focused on sustainable energy development. This community endeavor can be accomplished through increased use of renewable energy, energy efficiency and other programs that follow CPS Energy’s Vision 2020 long-term strategic planning initiatives.

Kevin Tuerff is Principal and President of Austin-based EnviroMedia, an advertising and PR agency whose efforts have been highlighted in Brandweek, USA Today and U.S. News & World Report.  Among his key client and project accomplishments: are founding and launching America Recycles Day in 1997; developing strategy for Dell, Inc. on electronics recycling; and directing advertising campaigns for Green Mountain Energy Company.  He chairs the UT Environmental Science Institute Advisory Council and has served as an elected director of his county’s water utility district.  His experience of kindness from strangers on September 11, 2001, led him to create the annual event Pay It Forward 9/11.