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Eight State Commission Chairs on State and Future of Power

1. Ted Thomas, Chair, Arkansas PSC

“The electric industry is fundamentally an engineering business. The thing I would never bet on is that our engineers can’t figure it out.”

 

2. Michael Schmitt, Chair, Kentucky PSC

“The economy … between Louisville, Lexington and Cincinnati is strong, and the outlook for electric utilities is expected to be positive with slow but continuous growth over the next decade. In eastern Kentucky, which has experienced significant losses in both population and the number of industrial customers over the last three or four years, utilities … are faced with serious challenges.”

 

3. Sally Talberg, Chair, Michigan PSC

“The need to address aging infrastructure and integrate new technologies has been an emerging theme. Infrastructure investments are a major driver of rate cases and other proceedings before the Commission.”

 

4. Nancy Lange, Chair, Minnesota PUC

“But there’s no doubt that the proliferation of many low marginal cost resources is evolving the system pretty quickly. In Minnesota, we’re seeing this evolution in our electric utilities’ integrated resource plans. Wind is currently our most cost-effective energy resource.”

 

5. Ed Finley, Chair, North Carolina UC

“Rather than being optimistic or concerned, you just put your head down and plow ahead and try to get from one day to the next… We try to take the challenges we’ve got and make the decisions we have to make in the context of what we’re confronting at the moment.”

 

6. Dana Murphy, Chair, Oklahoma CC

“Oklahoma still has among the lowest electricity prices in the nation. That’s fantastic news! It’s fantastic for people that are here, and to attract new businesses in manufacturing, high tech, and aeronautics and aerospace.”

 

7. DeAnn Walker, Chair, Texas PUC

“I think that it’s easy to get into the mindset that government has the answer to every question and a law to solve every question every problem, but Texas is showing that competition and its potential payoffs are a driving force for innovation and efficiencies.”

 

8. Bill Russell, Chair, Wyoming PSC

“How many big spinners can we lose before grid failures increase when the system is stressed? I’m concerned we may regret shutting down too many baseload plants because we failed to think it through. I’m reminded of an old fable: Consider the Auk who became extinct because it forgot how to fly and could only walk.”

 

See the complete article here.

 

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Steve Mitnick, Editor-in-Chief, Public Utilities Fortnightly, and President, Lines Up, Inc.

E-mail me: mitnick@fortnightly.com