Jim Rogers is front page news as regulators and the media sort out 11th hour maneuvers in the executive suite of the newly merged Duke Energy and Progress Energy.
Over the years, I have had numerous opportunities to engage Jim in close conversation about the forces shaping his utility and the broader power industry. I have always found him thoughtful and provocative.
Jim was one of seven chief executive officers who took part in the annual EnergyBiz leadership roundtable at the EEI annual meeting in Florida last month.
Our report on that exchange will be in our September/October issue of EnergyBiz. [Subscribe here.]
Here is what Rogers had to say about national energy policy.
“In Washington, we already have too much policy,” Rogers said. “But what we have is a policy that doesn’t combine energy and environmental policy, which are inextricably linked. They are treated as if they are separate. I would much rather have someone empowered on the state level help get the balance right than rely on ‘one size fits all’ policies enacted in Washington.”
I also would like to share with you an excerpt from an interview I conducted with Bill Johnson in the March/April issue of EnergyBiz.
Asked to describe his vision for a merged Duke-Progress, Johnson said, “We have an opportunity to be the best in the business.” He continued, “There's no reason to get up in the morning unless you're planning to be the best and doing everything you can to get there - no matter what your calling is. The challenge of this, the scale of it, the opportunity that exists here - they're all pretty exciting, and I look forward to undertaking that challenge.”
I asked Johnson about how the industry will respond to the eventual retirement of Rogers and other industry luminaries.
Johnson said: “People I've watched during the last 20 years in various positions - people who you sort of modeled your behavior on - are leaving the scene to retire and do other things. Those of us who come behind them have some pretty big shoes to fill. The group you mentioned was particularly adept at aligning the industry, explaining our issues to politicians and regulators. Our challenge will be trying to keep up and maybe be half as good as those who went before us.”
All that, of course, is now water under the proverbial bridge.