HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today welcomed Andrew Place, of Greene County, to the Commission and thanked the Pennsylvania Senate for its support of his nomination. The Commission also thanked Gov. Tom Wolf, who nominated Place to the Commission on May 15, 2015.
“Andrew’s unique background – blending work in academia, business and state government – will serve the Commission well as we strive to ensure a continued balance between consumer and utilities,” said PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown. “He brings a wealth of insight to the Commission, especially related to Pennsylvania’s growing role as an energy hub, and my colleagues and I look forward to working with Andrew to address these important issues.”
Commissioner Place was approved today 48-0 by the Senate following a unanimous recommendation earlier in the day by the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee. He will be sworn-in tomorrow during a brief ceremony in Harrisburg, immediately following the PUC’s regular Public Meeting.
In his confirmation hearing remarks, Commissioner Place pledged to be “an unassailably independent voice,” and noted the many challenges and opportunities facing the Commission, ranging from utility infrastructure and competitive consumer markets to rail safety, utility security and energy diversity and efficiency.
Prior to his appointment to the Commission, Place was the corporate director for energy and environmental policy at EQT Corporation, where he focused on the economic, social and environmental balance inherent in energy policy choices. He also worked to establish the Center for Sustainable Shale Development, and has served roles at the Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection. Additionally, Place was a research fellow at Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Engineering and Public Policy and has taught at the University as an adjunct professor.
Commissioner Place received his bachelor’s degree in economics, with a concentration in mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh, where he graduated cum laude, and a master’s degree in public policy and management from the H. John Heinz III College at Carnegie Mellon, where he graduated with Highest Distinction. He also owns and operates a 210-acre farm in Greene County, where he resides with this family.
Commissioner Place succeeded Commissioner James H. Cawley, whose term expired on March 31, 2015, following a combined tenure on the PUC of nearly two decades.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
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