By Amanda Durish Cook
MISO’s Advisory Committee sectors voted against a proposal to allow stakeholders to annually elect leaders of the RTO’s Steering Committee through an independent nomination and voting process.
The outcome of the email ballot will keep intact MISO’s eight-year-old practice of automatically appointing the chair and vice chair of the Advisory Committee to serve in their opposite capacities on the Steering Committee. The motion, which failed 7-11 with two abstentions, would have permitted Steering Committee leaders to be selected in a process identical to that of the Advisory Committee.
MISO’s Transmission Owners sector had requested the vote to grant the Steering Committee greater independence from the Advisory Committee, which in June decided to delay action on the proposal. (See MISO Steering Committee Elections Decision Delayed.)
“There is an interlocking nature between the Advisory Committee and the Steering Committee,” current Steering Committee Chair — and Advisory Committee Vice Chair — Tia Elliott said during a July 26 Advisory Committee conference call. She said both committees receive stakeholder committee reports and work together to select topics to discuss before the Board of Directors.
MISO Stakeholder Relations Specialist Alison Lane said the Steering Committee began as an ad hoc group to assist the Advisory Committee in “managing the many different topics and charters of the many working groups and task forces” that existed at the start of the RTO’s market.
Ameren’s Ray McCausland said MISO at that time was “a small, start-up RTO” and the “flip-flop” leadership was put in place because there weren’t many stakeholder volunteers from which to choose.
With the stakeholder redesign two years ago, the Steering Committee took on an expanded role, with more authority to update MISO’s Stakeholder Governance Guide, which provides the governing guidelines to stakeholder committees. The redesign also dictated that issues must first be submitted to the Steering Committee for committee assignment in order to be discussed in stakeholder meetings or added to the Market Roadmap list of market improvements.
“The genesis of this proposal really goes back to the stakeholder redesign effort,” said Entergy Vice President of Federal Policy Matt Brown, whose TO sector submitted the unsuccessful motion. “We think it would be more effective and an improvement to directly elect those leadership positions. It’s really just housekeeping — or routine maintenance might be a better way to put it — to improve Steering Committee leadership. It’s anomalous right now. Every other MISO stakeholder committee leadership is elected.”
Brown pointed out that under the proposal, Advisory Committee leadership would still be eligible to run for Steering Committee leadership, albeit alongside any other interested stakeholders. “There’s no reason to restrict anyone from running for the office,” he said.