Michael Schmidt is an energy policy specialist and executive director of the energy practice at GolinHarris. With 15 years in the energy space, Mike advises major companies and NGOs on the issues and leverages his understanding of policy, politics, public opinion and markets to develop strategies that help clients build their reputation. He also serves as overall lead of the State of Virginia’s public energy education campaign. Previously, Mike was an energy correspondent for the Financial Times Group and chief energy policy correspondent and managing editor of The Energy Report and Inside Energy. He covered Congress, the Clinton and Bush administrations and four energy secretaries. He spent years chronicling the lengthy debate that led to the 2005 Energy Policy Act. He also covered climate change; electricity deregulation and re-regulation; the California crisis and the fall of Enron; dozens of Department of Energy programs and initiatives; the Yucca Mountain Project; the Pentagon's move to develop alternative fuels; the Cheney energy task force; and the 2005 blackout.