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For Immediate Release: March 20, 2013
Contact: Robert J. Thormeyer, 202-898-9382, rthormeyer@naruc.org

In Naming Minnesota's Boyd as Chair, NARUC President Appoints New Leadership for Electricity Committee

WASHINGTON—National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Philip Jones of Washington appointed Commissioner David Boyd of Minnesota as chair of the organization’s Committee on Electricity. President Jones also named two new Co-Vice Chairs of the committee, along with a new chair of subcommittee on nuclear waste.

The appointments mark an almost entirely new leadership structure of the committee, necessitated by the departure of former Chair Erin O’Connell-Diaz of Illinois, who is leaving regulation this month. Current Vice Chair David Ziegner of Indiana will retain his position, and he will be joined by new Co-Vice Chairs Susan Ackerman of Oregon and Ed Finley of North Carolina.

NARUC's Electricity Committee provides State regulators a forum to develop and advance policies that promote reliable, adequate, and affordable supply of electricity. Through strong collaboration with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and related federal agencies, the Committee seeks ways to improve the quality and effectiveness of regulation through education, cooperation, and exchange of information.

“I am proud to appoint Commissioner Boyd as the new chair of this crucial committee,” President Jones said. “He is taking the reins at a critical time in the electric utility industry’s history. With new environmental regulations looming, natural gas prices still at record lows, and smart-grid technologies knocking at the door, there may never be a more intriguing time to be involved with these issues. Commissioner Boyd’s humble leadership will serve our organization and the nation’s ratepayers well. I have surrounded him with a veteran team of enthusiastic regulators ready to address these challenges. I would like to thank Commissioner O’Connell-Diaz for her energetic guidance of the Committee. She embraced new and innovative measures that increased participation and interest in the committee’s business. I wish her the best in her new endeavors.”

Chair Boyd, who is leaving his chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Nuclear Issues-Waste Disposal, was appointed to the Minnesota commission in July 2007, and he has served as chairman three years during his tenure. He is currently Vice Chair of the commission. Within NARUC, Commissioner Boyd has served as a member of the Committee on International Relations, Subcommittee on Clean Coal and Carbon Sequestration, and the Subcommittee on Education and Research. He recently was awarded with the 2012 Terry Barnich Award for his contributions to international utility regulation. In addition, Chair Boyd serves as Vice Chair of the National Regulatory Research Institute Board of Directors.

“I am honored and humbled by President Jones’ trust,” said Chair Boyd. “The utility industry is going through a major transformation, thus underscoring the importance of quality, independent regulation. From transmission expansion and investment to the long-running saga over nuclear waste, we have more on our plate than ever before. I know my new colleagues are up to the task and I congratulate them on their appointments. I also echo President Jones’ sentiments for outgoing Chair O’Connell-Diaz; she will be missed.”

Because of his appointment, Chair Boyd is giving up his chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Nuclear Issues-Waste Disposal panel. President Jones appointed Commissioner Greg R. White of Michigan as the panel’s new chief, and Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald as its new Vice Chair. Commissioner Jon McKinney of West Virginia will remain as Chair of the Subcommittee on Clean Coal and Carbon Sequestration, with Commissioner Brian P. Kalk of North Dakota serving as his new Vice Chair.

“It is always difficult to say goodbye to our colleagues, but this also marks an opportunity for others to fill the voids,” President Jones said. “This new leadership team positions us well now and in the future, as we know some of the issues may change, but the driving forces of regulation—to ensure the safe, reliable delivery of utility services as fair, just, and reasonable rates—will remain the same.”

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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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