Rules of the Game

The importance of understanding the role that government and regulators may play in your clean tech business


The government could have a significant impact on your business, particularly if you are in the energy industry. Have you considered the role the government may or may not have in your business? Many companies live and die by the decisions that governments and regulators make.

Hear Paul Thomas weave a cautionary tale of how regulators and government entities can impact a business through the telling of Green Mountain’s history. The company, its markets and its products all evolved in part due to changes in the regulatory environment. Green Mountain has succeeded in part by anticipating and adapting to an ever-changing regulatory landscape.

Paul Thomas joined Green Mountain Energy Company in May of 2000 as Chief Operating Officer and became Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and president in January of 2002. Under Paul’s leadership, Green Mountain Energy Company (Green Mountain) has become one of the nations’ leading providers of cleaner energy and carbon offset products. The company has moved beyond its roots as a retail electricity provider by expanding its business offerings to include a commercial retail electricity business, industry leading green marketing partnerships with utilities in regulated states, and a portfolio of carbon reduction services for commercial and institutional sector clients looking to improve their environmental position. Paul has 30 years experience in managing and trading global energy markets. Paul came to Green Mountain from BP where he served as president of North American Gas and Power. He held a similar position as president of Amoco Energy Trading before the Amoco/BP merger. Paul previously managed Amoco’s U.S. crude supply and trading business with responsibilities that included supplying the company’s one million barrel per day refining system with crude oil, and marketing the company’s U.S crude oil production. Paul held a variety of other trading and logistics positions with Amoco during a 19 year career. Prior to his tenure at BP and Amoco, Paul worked as a chemical engineer with UOP, a company that develops and licenses refining technology, and with Energy Cooperative Inc., a small refining company. Paul graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan in 1977 with Bachelors degrees in chemical engineering and metallurgical engineering. He also earned a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago in 1989, and a Juris Doctor degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1982.