NARUC President James Kerr seeks harmony among an unruly bunch of state regulators.
Michael T. Burr is editor-at-large at Public Utilities Fortnightly.
Strolling through the cemeteries of North Carolina, one encounters the names of many distinguished political families—including members of the Kerr-Settle-Yancey clan, who for nearly two centuries have served their state as regulators, legislators, and judges. The most recent in this long line of public servants is Commissioner James Yancey Kerr II, who last November was elected president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).
“Public affairs have always been of particular interest to me,” Kerr told the Fortnightly. “My father [John H. Kerr III] has served in the state legislature for a number of years, and he worked to expand natural-gas service to all North Carolina counties in the 1990s. I was always impressed with his view of the importance of utility infrastructure, and I adopted that view.”