A Day at Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
Norman Kennard is Pennsylvania Utility Commissioner.
Steve Mitnick is Editor-in-Chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly and author of the book “Lines Down: How We Pay, Use, Value Grid Electricity Amid the Storm.”
PUF’s Steve Mitnick: What’s it like to be here? You’ve been a commissioner for just a few days, but you’ve been working at the commission for a while.
Norman Kennard: I started at the consumer advocate’s office, then went to work for a commissioner in the early 1980s. Private practice in public utility matters followed, representing every sector and interest, including gas companies, gas producers, industrial consumers and telephone companies.
I came back to the public sector three years ago to work for a very dynamic individual of national stature, well known to your readers: Rob Powelson, who is now a FERC commissioner. I have the honor to serve the remainder of Rob’s term. I know the subject matter and I know all the people. It’s just a different chair to sit in.
PUF: What’s an average day like at the commission?
Norman Kennard: There’s really two things we do: one is to preside, and the other is to lead. That, incidentally, borrows from the title of a Scott Hempling book, Preside or Lead? The Attributes and Actions of Effective Regulators.