Governor LePage Nominates the Hon. Barry J. Hobbins to Serve as Public Advocate

April 14, 2017

For Immediate Release: Friday, April 14, 2017
Contact: Peter A. Steele, Communications Director, (207) 287-5086

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage today nominated the Hon. Barry J. Hobbins of Saco to serve as the Public Advocate, a position that represents the interests of Maine ratepayers in proceedings before the Maine Public Utilities Commission, including issues regarding electricity and natural gas prices. The Office of the Public Advocate also supports Mainers on matters related to telecommunications, including accessibility to broadband internet.

Hobbins, a lawyer in private practice for 39 years, has concentrated in telecommunications law, real estate, municipal and administrative law, land use planning, business and corporate law, criminal and family law.

A well-known and respected legislator, he was first elected in 1972 as the youngest member of the 106th Maine Legislature. He also served in the 114th Legislature, then the 122nd through 125th Legislatures. During his time in the State House, he was a member of many Committees, including Business Legislation, Labor and Judiciary, and served as both House Chair and Senate Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology.

While serving on the EUT committee, he developed a thorough knowledge of energy issues and was in charge of overseeing the Office of the Public Advocate as it related to wholesale electricity markets, interstate electricity transmission and interstate gas transportation. He also became familiar with the workings of the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates interstate communications of radio, television, satellite and cable systems.

A lifelong resident of Saco, Hobbins is a graduate of Thornton Academy. He earned a B.A. degree from University Maine Orono and his law degree from the Franklin Pierce Law Center, now known as the New Hampshire School of Law.

“Thanks to the misguided energy policies of the past that have been thrust upon us by wealthy special interests, Mainers are now burdened with the 11th highest energy prices in the nation. The high cost of doing business in Maine, especially in our high-tech, agricultural, manufacturing and forest products industries, is a huge jobs killer,” said Governor LePage. “We must have a public advocate who understands the challenges companies are facing because of high energy prices and who is strongly dedicated to helping Maine compete for good-paying jobs in the domestic and global markets.”