But what of commissioners' aides and advisers? The people behind the scenes, who, in some cases, propose decisions for regulators to act on. What wisdom can commission aides share with the industry?
Further, are these posts proving grounds? Can we expect to see aides filling commission seats someday? Elizabeth A. Moler, deputy energy secretary, started as a Senate Energy Committee aide. James J. Hoecker, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman, was once a FERC adviser.
Public Utilities Fortnightly spoke with five aides, whose average age is 37. One made a run at a commission job and two met their bosses while in law school. All are outspoken, free to speak on regulatory issues (em even if their position conflicts with that of their boss and his colleagues.
"Most of the work that I do is essentially trying to develop a majority," says Peter Meadows Adels, aide to Pennsylvania Commissioner John Hanger. "So I do a hell of a lot (em negotiation is a little bit too strong (em sometimes it's that, but more of laying out the issue¼ It's fundamentally a political process."
Bob Lane, adviser to California Commissioner Jessie J. Knight Jr., says he and his boss are "philosophical soul mates on the benefits of competition and free markets." But, "from case to case, after discussion, the commissioner's viewpoint may differ from mine. And my job then is to still advance his policy preferences."
Read on to see how these advisers work behind the scenes, readying the regulatory framework.
Peter Meadows Adels: Advisor to Commissioner John Hanger (Pa PUC)