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Governor Seeks Applicants for Public Utilities Commission Vacancy


Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is on the hunt.

As a position on the Public Utilities Commission opens, the governor is looking for someone to fill that vacancy on a permanent basis.

"We are looking for candidates who possess the right mix of enthusiasm and temperament to oversee one of the most vital regulatory functions in state government," Otter wrote in a press release.

In July, state officials announced that Public Utilities Commissioner Mack Redford had died. At the time, the PUC had recently voted to allow Idaho Power and other Idaho electricity providers to restrict 20-year PURPA contracts from renewable energy providers down to two years. Critics of Idaho Power's request said cutting the length of those contracts would cripple renewable energy development in the Gem State, increasing reliance on non-renewable energy sources like coal. 

Otter appointed Redford to the PUC in 2007, and at the time of his death he was in the middle of his second six-year term on the commission.

In July, Otter reappointed former Commissioner Marsha Smith to serve in Redford's seat on an interim basis until her replacement is announced in January. That new commissioner will serve for the remainder of Redford's term until January 2019.

The Office of the Governor encourages anyone interested in filling the seat to contact Ann Beebe at 208-334-2100, or email Applications are due on or before Tuesday, Sept. 22.