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For Immediate Release: February 25, 2013
Contact: Robert J. Thormeyer, 202-898-9382, rthormeyer@naruc.org

Colorado's Epel, Maine's Littell Named as New Leadership of NARUC Environmental Task Force

WASHINGTON—National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Philip Jones of Washington appointed Colorado Public Utilities Commission Chair Joshua Epel as the new leader of the Association’s Task Force on Environmental Regulation and Generation.

Chair Epel, who has served on the Task Force since its inception last year, is replacing Commissioner Jim Gardner of Kentucky, who now chairs the Association’s Subcommittee on Education and Research. President Jones also tapped Commissioner David Littell of Maine as Vice Chair of the group.

The Task Force of Environmental Regulation and Generation assists in managing the Association's efforts in responding to, and educating members about, Environmental Protection Agency regulations. The group supports the efforts of the Association's standing committees by coordinating joint sessions at NARUC meetings, organizing educational efforts, and acting as a liaison between the Association and the EPA. The Task Force also works with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as both organizations plan future joint meetings through the FERC-NARUC Forum on Reliability and the Environment.

“I am pleased Chair Epel is willing to serve his regulatory colleagues by leading this important committee,” President Jones said. “With new environmental rules being implemented, and more on the horizon, we must ensure that utility regulators are up to date with the latest information and resources. Chair Epel is uniquely suited for this leadership position, and I look forward to working with him and Vice Chair Littell. I also wish to thank to Commissioner Gardner, who led this Task Force in an open, inclusive, and determined fashion. Our membership is better off because of his service.”

Chair Epel was appointed to lead the Colorado Public Utilities Commission in April 2011. He is a member of the NARUC Board of Directors, its Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment, and the NARUC-FERC Sunday Morning Collaborative.

“This is a critical time in the utility industry and I thank President Jones for this opportunity,” Chair Epel said. “The EPA regulations are coming at a time of massive investment in utility infrastructure. As economic regulators, we must make sure the system works cleanly, efficiently, and for the betterment of our consumers. I am grateful to be working with Vice Chair Littell and my colleagues on this task force. I also echo President Jones’ appreciation for Commissioner Gardner.”

Prior to his PUC appointment, Chair Epel was Assistant General Counsel at DCP Midstream, where he oversaw all environmental, public health and safety matters for the company. He was also responsible for multiple areas of operations and helped to develop the company’s climate change strategy. DCP Midstream is the largest midstream natural gas gathering and processing company in the United States. Chair Epel’s environmental work led him to be appointed to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (OGCC), where he served as chair. At OGCC, he was instrumental in streamlining business and regulatory processes to strike a balance between business, regulation and the environment.

Vice Chair David Littell was appointed to the Maine Public Utilities Commission in August 2010. He serves on the NARUC Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment. Prior to his PUC appointment, Commissioner Littell served as the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for five years starting in 2005, and served two earlier years as Deputy Commissioner. Commissioner Littell was an attorney at Pierce, Atwood from 1992-2003, the last four years as partner. From 1994-2003, he served in the U.S. Navy Reserves Intelligent Officer, resigning as a lieutenant commander.

“The issues before this Task Force rank among the most pressing challenges facing the utility industry,” said Vice Chair Littell. “My thanks to President Jones, Chairman Epel, Commissioner Gardner, and the members of the task force. I look forward to this opportunity.”

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NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.

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