HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today welcomed David Sweet, who hails from Washington County and now resides in Philadelphia, to the Commission and thanked the Pennsylvania Senate for its support of his nomination. The Commission also thanked Gov. Tom Wolf, who nominated Sweet to the Commission on May 4, 2016.
“David’s extensive background in economic development and finance will lend itself well to the Commission’s work and its mission, balancing the needs of consumers and utilities,” said PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown. “He brings decades of experience from both state government and private law, and my colleagues and I will value his diverse insight and his commitment to serving consumers as we address the important issues faced at the Commission every day.”
Commissioner Sweet was approved today 49-0 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.
In his confirmation hearing remarks, Commissioner Sweet pledged to be “a responsible and respectful watchdog for consumers,” emphasizing the importance of educating consumers on their utility service and options in the competitive marketplace.
“Providing consumers with the information needed to make educated decisions related to service and finances is of utmost importance,” said Sweet. “The Commission has done great work in this arena, and it will be a top priority of mine.”
Prior to his appointment to the Commission, Sweet was a Senior Advisor to Gov. Wolf, focusing on energy and economic development issues. In this role, he served as liaison to the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, helping to spearhead the Governor’s economic growth strategy for the Philadelphia region.
Sweet also served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1977 to 1988 and helped enact major legislation on local tax reform, distressed municipalities and land use and zoning regulations.
In private practice of law, Sweet chaired Governor Bob Casey’s Commission on Corrections Planning and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry’s State Government Committee. He also served as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel and special counsel in public and project finance for projects located throughout Pennsylvania. Additionally, Sweet was campaign manager in Edward Rendell’s successful 2002 campaign and went on to serve as Executive Director of Gov. Rendell’s transition team.
For most of his career, Sweet was a partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP and Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, two major law firms in Pennsylvania, focusing on administrative and regulatory matters, legislative advocacy and public finance.
Sweet received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago before graduating from the Penn State Dickinson School of Law.
Commissioner Sweet succeeded Commissioner Pamela A. Witmer, whose term expired on March 31, 2016.
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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