Senate Approves Economist Bruce Williamson to Maine Public Utilities Commission

June 9, 2015

Senate Approves Economist Bruce Williamson to Maine Public Utilities Commission

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – The Maine Legislature today approved Governor Paul R. LePage’s nominee, economist Dr. Bruce Williamson, as the next member of the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

Twenty-five Senators of both parties voted to affirm Dr. Williamson’s nomination. Ten Democrats voted against the appointment, despite the strong 11-2 vote last week by the Energy Utilities and Technology Committee.

“Dr. Williamson, along with engineer Mark Vannoy and attorney Carlisle McClean, provide a depth and breadth of expertise that can move our state forward with lower energy costs,” said Governor LePage. “The state’s ratepayers will benefit from the wide range of perspectives and experience this Commission has, and I am eager for these talented professionals to begin their work on the state’s complex energy issues and challenges.”

Dr. Williamson is a senior economist at the University of Tennessee’s Howard Baker Center for Public Policy. He has also served as a research professor at the University’s College of Business Administration, lectured in advanced data analytics and worked as a senior economist at the National Defense Business Institute.

The MPUC regulates electric, natural gas, telecommunications and water utilities to ensure that Maine consumers enjoy safe, adequate and reliable services at rates that are just and reasonable for both consumers and utilities. The Commission oversees emerging competitive markets for some of these services. The Commission also regulates water taxis and ferries in Casco Bay and promotes safe digging through the Dig Safe underground utility damage prevention program.
Williamson replaces outgoing Commissioner David Littell, whose term expired in March.