USA: Senator Pipkin Against Two Public Service Commission Nominees

Senator E.J. Pipkin has been unsuccessful in his attempt before the Senate to reject two Public Service Commission nominees who lobbied for Gov. Martin O’Malley’s offshore wind proposals last year, reports Marylend Reporter.

I don’t believe these two nominees can be objective enough to protect ratepayers,” Pipkin told the Senate. “They were the governor’s two chief leaders in (offshore wind) proposals before us last year,” said Pipkin.

He believes that PSC should act independently and that the nominees Kelly Speaks-Beckman and Kevin Hughes have already acted as “advocates for alternative energies that are for more expensive for the ratepayer than traditional energy sources.” Those who lobbied from “outside the PSC cannot be independent while serving on it,” he added.

Senator Brian Frosh, D-Montgomery, argued in favor of the nominees stressing the PSC acted appropriately at the request of the House Economic Matters Committee.

According to Frosh, the PSC is an independent agency but there is a provision in the law that makes it appropriate for the agency to work with the administration on legislative matters.

The nominees were confirmed with seven Republicans voting against them.

Offshore WIND  Staff, March 08, 2012

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