Bruce Williamson is a Commissioner for the Maine Public Utilities Commission.
Steve Mitnick is Editor-in-Chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly and President of Lines Up, Inc.
PUF: Where do you like to specialize as a commissioner?
Commissioner Williamson: I enjoy it all — and particularly the economic aspects of market structure, pricing, costs, contracting, optimal regulation, tradeoffs, and opportunity costs, for any regulated industry. Some assumed I would gravitate to telecom cases because I worked for two decades in the private sector with regulated utilities and manufacturers in communications networks. That's not been the case.
My graduate work and dissertation were in regulatory economics, and I look at telecommunications or broadband as applications of principle, no less relevant to gas, electric, and water utilities. The commissioners here in 2015 had different professional backgrounds, so we took advantage of that.
Chair Mark Vannoy is a professional engineer; former Commissioner McLean had a legal background; I added economics, finance, statistics. It is always valuable to hear the different perspectives; well informed, professional, fresh viewpoints.
This put staff as well as the legal counsel for parties on notice to expect questions that might test the basis for actions with legal, engineering and economic perspectives all at once. It has worked well.