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Schweitzer Drive Podcast

Decarbonization, Government Mandates, and the Future of Electric Power

Historically, electric utilities independently determined their generation portfolio based on customer demand, local resources, available technologies, agreements with neighboring utilities, etc. Increasingly, government mandates related to decarbonization goals are limiting the options. In this episode, Dave Whitehead talks with energy policy expert Tom Pyle and power system protection pioneer Dr. Ed Schweitzer about how outside forces are shaping the future electric power and challenging grid reliability.

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The Guest

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Thomas J. Pyle

President, Institute for Energy Research

Thomas J. Pyle is the president of the Institute for Energy Research (IER). In this capacity, Pyle brings a unique backdrop of public and private sector experience to help manage IER’s Washington, DC-based staff and operations. He also helps to develop the organization’s free market policy positions and implement education efforts with respect to key energy stakeholders, including policymakers, federal agency representatives, industry leaders, consumer entities and the media.

Previously, Pyle was the founder of his own consulting firm, Pyle Consulting, Inc., an active public affairs consulting firm with a wide range of private and not-for-profit customers. Prior to starting his own firm, Pyle served as vice president of the Rhoads Group in Washington, DC where he represented and advised a variety of association and corporate clients in meeting their strategic public policy goals and priorities. Additionally, he also served as director of federal affairs for a major integrated manufacturing and services company focusing on energy, environment, regulatory and transportation issues.

Before coming to the private sector, Pyle held numerous positions on Capitol Hill including serving as a policy analyst for the Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives and as staff director for the Congressional Western Caucus, as well as other legislative staff positions.

Pyle holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern California.

Ed Schweitzer

Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer, III

Founder, President, and Chief Technology Officer, SEL

Ed Schweitzer is recognized as a pioneer in digital protection and holds the grade of Fellow in the IEEE, a title bestowed on less than one percent of IEEE members. In 2002, he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Schweitzer received the 2012 Medal in Power Engineering, the highest award given by IEEE, for his leadership in revolutionizing the performance of electrical power systems with computer-based protection and control equipment. In 2019, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

A prolific inventor and the author of dozens of technical papers in the areas of digital relay design and reliability, Schweitzer holds more than 200 patents worldwide.

Schweitzer received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University and his doctorate from Washington State University.