Print Page   |   Your Cart   |   Sign In   |   Become a member
Community Search
Member Spotlight

Carrie L. Bumgarner
Wright & Talisman, P.C.


Tell us about the company you work for.

I am a shareholder at the law firm of Wright & Talisman, P.C. We specialize in energy law with a particular focus on regulatory matters. The firm is based in Washington, DC and is consistently recognized as one of the leading energy practices in the United States. Our clients include utilities, regional transmission organizations, trading organizations, power producers, natural gas and oil pipelines, developers, banks, and investors.

Describe in plain English what your job entails. What issues and challenges do you work with on a daily basis? What aspects of this work interest you the most?

I advise public utilities, regional transmission organizations, and independent power producers on a variety of issues ranging from transmission planning, transmission cost allocation, energy market issues, tariff drafting, and generation interconnections. On a daily basis I engage in a variety of activities, including advising clients, drafting tariff language, and preparing filings to be submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The energy industry has experienced dramatic changes in the last several years. The issues that interest me most are those that arise out of such changes. For example, open access has resulted in more independent power producers interconnecting to the grid, including renewable resources such as wind, solar, and hydro. These interconnections create unique issues that must be addressed in interconnection agreements, transmission expansion plans, and transmission provider tariffs. I enjoy analyzing such issues, arriving at a solution, and then drafting contract and tariff language to solve them.

What did you study in college or university? Did your educational background help you find this job? Are there any courses that you wish you had taken while in university?

I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Washington University and my Juris Doctorate from St. Louis University. As a younger person my interests were in the social sciences. My career in energy law happened out of necessity. I needed a job and an energy attorney needed an associate. That serendipity turned into an interesting and fulfilling career.

The energy-related issues and matters I have dealt with over the years have been challenging and interesting. In addition, I enjoyed and have benefited from my early non-energy law career, where I gained experience in trademark law, corporate formation, antitrust, and tort law, as well as serving as a law clerk with the Missouri Court of Appeals. These early experiences provided me with a broad base, which has made me a better, more well-rounded energy attorney.

If you could fundamentally change how we as a society use energy and treat the environment, how would you do it? Does it need to be changed at all?

The environment is a finite resource that needs to be protected. Such protection must take into consideration the ways we produce and use energy. I would like to see society as a whole, (i.e. individuals, business, and government) more focused on these issues. For example, I would like to see solar panels for homes become more accessible and affordable, and more ways for demand response to be more effective. While protection of the environment is of the utmost importance, such protection must be realistic. Our society is dependent on energy use and production. Finding ways to make our dependence more environmentally friendly will not happen overnight. Plus, these solutions will need to take into consideration economic and political factors.

What technology, law, or regulation regarding energy or the environment do you want to see created?

I am interested in storage technology for generation, including the use of batteries from hybrid and electric vehicles. Batteries could be used as storage devices by re-commissioning the batteries as storage devices or through a vehicle to grid application. If viable, such technologies could be used to provide backup electric storage for the grid, and could delay the need to recycle the batteries or dispose of them in landfills. These and other similar technologies have the potential to be both energy and environmentally friendly.

If you could have 30 minutes of anyone's undivided attention (living or deceased, real or fictional), who would it be and what would you want to talk about?

The two people that come to mind today are Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs. These men were both amazing innovators. They thought outside the box and changed our world. I would like to know what made them tick. Why were they able to put their ideas and theories into action? I would ask them what was important to them both personally and professionally and what they viewed as their most important contributions. I also would like to have them to the same dinner party to hear what they would say to each other. I expect that would be quite a conversation. Finally, I would love to know what they wanted to accomplish next.

Why did you join WCEE, and what do you want to achieve by being part of the WCEE community?

A few years back, I attended the Woman of the Year Gala. I was quite impressed by the level and diversity of the industry turn out. I decided to join WCEE to meet more people in the energy and environmental fields. Since joining WCEE, I have found that WCEE is not only a good networking tool, but also that the WCEE events are very interesting and informative. I hope to continue taking advantage of both the networking and educational opportunities that WCEE provides.

Member Spotlight views are the personal views of the WCEE member and do not necessarily represent the views of WCEE.

Sign In


WCEE Board of Directors August 2019 Meeting

WCEE's August Happy Hour

How to Turn Networking Occasions into Career Opportunities

WCEE's Women in Leadership Series featuring BP's Mary Streett

Out on the Water - Kayak & Brunch