Mich. governor names clean energy advocate to PSC

Source: By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Friday appointed clean energy advocate Dan Scripps to fill a vacancy on the Public Service Commission.

Scripps succeeds Rachael Eubanks, who resigned last month following her appointment as state treasurer. The appointment is subject to approval of the Senate and would run through July 2, 2023.

Scripps is currently Midwest policy program director for the San Francisco-based Energy Foundation, a national clean energy advocacy group. He previously served as president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council and as a Democratic state representative.

His appointment comes as utilities in Michigan are moving away from coal as a fuel source and to a cleaner energy mix. At the same time, utilities face significant investments in electric and natural gas infrastructure to keep the grid working in the face of extreme conditions, including January’s polar vortex and an ice storm last week that interrupted power to thousands (Energywire, Feb. 1).

“We need to continuously find innovative ways to keep the lights on and the heat flowing, and Dan is the right guy for the job,” Whitmer said on Twitter.

Renewable energy supporters applauded the appointment, as did utilities including Detroit-based DTE Electric Co.

“Dan Scripps’ knowledge of the energy industry and public policy will serve him well,” the company said in a statement.

Whitmer will have another PSC seat to fill later this year, as Commissioner Norm Saari’s term expires in July.