Governor LePage’s Nominee to Public Utilities Commission Earns Unanimous Senate Confirmation

April 5, 2011

Augusta, Maine – Thomas Welch, nominated to serve a six year term on the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) by Governor Paul LePage, earned the unanimous support of the Maine Senate today. His service on the MPUC will begin immediately.

Governor LePage has made reducing electricity rates paid by Maine consumers and businesses a corner stone of his job creation agenda. Mainer’s currently pay the 9th highest electricity costs in the country. Maine’s high electricity rates represent $400 million in additional costs to Maine families and businesses when compared to the national average.

“I am pleased to accept Governor LePage’s appointment to serve on the Public Utilities Commission,” offered Tom Welch. “Many of the infrastructure decisions that are critical to Maine’s future come before the commission, and I welcome the chance to contribute to efforts to move our State forward.”

Ken Fletcher, the Director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Security and Independence offered, “ The Governor is very eager to return Tom to the PUC. We must look for every opportunity to drive our electricity rates down so Maine’s employers can be cost competitive and create jobs. Tom has the expertise and perspective we need on the commission.”

Welch served as Chairman of the MPUC from 1993 to 2005 and played a leading role in the adoption of incentive regulation for Maine’s major telephone utility. Prior to joining the Public Utilities Commission, Welch was Chief Deputy Attorney General for Antitrust in the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office; in-house counsel for Bell Atlantic; an associate at McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen; and Assistant Professor at Villanova University School of Law. Most recently, Welch has been a member of Pierce Atwood's Energy and Regulatory practice. Since 2006 he has provided advice to a broad spectrum of participants in the electric, telecommunications and gas industries. Welch is included in the 2010 edition of The Best Lawyers in America for Energy Law.

Welch received his A.B., Phi Beta Kappa, from Stanford University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School