James Griffin is Chair of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Paul Kjellander is Senior Advisor at Public Utilities Fortnightly.
The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, starting with part-time Commissioners in 1913, has been busy regulating utilities since then. Its evolution continued with statehood in 1959, but one aspect that has hasn't changed is that Commissioners all along have been working in the public interest.
Chair James Griffin was appointed to his full-time position at the Public Utilities Commission by Governor David Ige in May 2017 for a term to expire June 30, 2022. He notified the Governor of his intent to step down on that date.
By the time you read this, he will be no longer be Chair of the PUC, but with his list of accomplishments, and expert resume, Griffin won't have much time to lounge on the beaches with his family. PUF's Paul Kjellander met up with him in the Aloha State, to talk about the Commission's achievements and the unique issues the people who live there are dealing with.
PUF's Paul Kjellander: As you look at wrapping up your time as Commissioner at the Hawaii Commission and your time, too, as Chair of that Commission, what are your thoughts as you begin to step away, what are you leaving behind?
Chair James Griffin: It's been a challenging time, just like for anyone who steps into this leadership role, but more difficult having to do it during the COVID pandemic. It's added a lot of extra challenges. We've dealt with a number of crises on top of the underlying pandemic.