Texas names 3rd utility commissioner as power woes loom

HOUSTON Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:57pm EDT

HOUSTON Aug 21 (Reuters) - Texas Governor Rick Perry on Wednesday named Brandy Marty, his former chief of staff, to a seat on the Texas Public Utility Commission, a panel currently divided over how to deal with a looming power scarcity problem.

Electric demand in Texas is growing faster than generation is being built, shrinking the state's reserve margin and increasing the likelihood of rolling outages in future years, the grid operator has warned.

Marty will replace commissioner Rolando Pablos who resigned March 1, six months before his term ended. The board was left with only two commissioners after Pablos' departure.

Marty, who has worked in the governor's office since 2007, was named Perry's chief of staff in March. Previously, she was deputy chief of staff and director of the budget, planning and policy division.

"Brandy is a passionate public servant with a deep knowledge of state government and the issues critical to Texas' continued success," Gov. Perry said in a statement. "Her experience and skills will be a major asset to the PUC as they continue their important work for our state."

Marty will help make decisions likely to affect the price Texans pay for electricity for years to come.

In the past year, the PUC has implemented a number of changes to the $29 billion wholesale market. Some generators and power-plant developers say more change is needed to obtain financing needed to build new plants.

The current commissioners have different ideas on how to attract new generation to the state without a drastic market redesign and a dramatic jump in costs for wholesale power in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state's primary grid.

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Comments (4)
KennethW1 wrote:
It’s not the growth that is causing the energy scarcity it’s the EPA closing all of the coal fired power plants.

Aug 21, 2013 1:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
prisoner wrote:
Thank you, thank you Mr. Perry. You have been our master and savior for so long that I can not remember any thing before you. It seems as if you have been our great leader since before the great grand father of North Korea came into power and I see that you are taking great leaps in making sure that your trademark is around years after you leave. Thank you, thank you great master.

Aug 21, 2013 3:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Bobob67 wrote:
Put people building natural gas power plants.

Aug 21, 2013 4:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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