press releases

Kentucky's Gardner Tapped by NARUC President to Chair Energy and the Environment Committee


For Immediate Release: August 7, 2015
Contact: Regina L. Davis, 202-898-9382,


Minnesota and Texas Commissioners Lange and Nelson Appointed as Co-Vice Chairs

WASHINGTON—National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Lisa Edgar appointed the Honorable James Gardner, Vice Chair of the Kentucky Public Service Commission, as Chair of the Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment.

Chair Gardner, previously the Co-Vice Chair of the Committee, succeeds the outgoing Honorable Robert S. Kenney of Missouri.

Along with Gardner, President Edgar also appointed as Co-Vice Chairs Commissioner Nancy Lange of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and Commissioner Donna L. Nelson of the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

With the nation more dependent on electricity and gas than ever before, the Energy Resources and the Environment Committee serves as a venue for State regulators to discuss ways to provide utility customers with environmentally sustainable and affordable energy services. The Committee focuses on energy efficiency, environmental protection, renewable and distributed resources, consumer protection, low-income weatherization and assistance, as well as public interest research and development.

Governor Steve Beshear appointed Gardner as vice chairman of the Kentucky PSC on June 16, 2008. For NARUC, he serves on the Board of Directors, is a member and former Chair of the Task Force on Environmental Regulation and Generation, chairs NARUC’s Subcommittee on Education and Research, is a member of the Committee on Consumer Affairs and co-chaired the December 2009 NARUC/National Council on Electricity Policy Conference on Utilities of the Future. Gardner also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Regulatory Research Institute and the Advisory Boards of the Financial Research Institute, the Gas Technology Institute and the Electric Power Research Institute.

He was elected to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council in 1982 and served until 1986. He was a member of the Fayette County Board of Education from 1993 to 1997, serving as its chairman from 1995 to 1997.

Gardner received his Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Georgetown College, graduating summa cum laude. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he was a member of the Kentucky Law Journal and Order of the Coif.

“The years of experience and insight that Commissioner Gardner brings to this role ensure that the Committee will continue to be a sought-after resource for regulators, policymakers and technical experts,” said President Edgar. “ERE manages an array of timely, critical issues that require both his intellect and ability to work collaboratively and build consensus.”

“I am honored by President Edgar’s confidence in my ability to lead the ERE Committee during what is sure to be an interesting and transformative time for our electric and gas utilities,” Gardner said. “Our energy sector is facing many complex challenges as it becomes even more critical to our economy, and we as regulators are charged with responding to these challenges with reasoned, cost-effective solutions.”


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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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