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Thursday, June 30, 2016
Ige Appoints New PUC Commissioner, Secures 2-1 Majority Against NextEra
By Andrew Walden @ 1:35 AM :: 4577 Views :: Energy


News Release from Office of the Governor, June 29, 2016

HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige announced the appointment of attorney Thomas Gorak to the Public Utilities Commission. Since 2013, Gorak has worked closely with the PUC as its chief counsel, serving as chief legal and regulatory advisor.

Gorak has practiced law since 1977, specializing in public utility regulation at both the federal and state levels for the past 37 years. He previously worked on utility regulatory matters in Maryland and practiced law in Washington, D.C., where he provided client services that included analyzing and addressing their positions in public utility matters.

Gorak opened his solo practice in 1995 and moved his firm to Hawai‘i in 2003 where he continued to represent clients in utility matters, both on the mainland and before the PUC.

“Tom has years of national and international experience in utility regulatory matters. He has been closely engaged with the PUC as its chief counsel for the past three years and will be able to step in immediately to participate in discussions and decision making on all matters pending before the commission. There will be no delay in addressing the many issues that must be resolved to meet our renewable energy goals,” said Gov. Ige.

“I very much appreciate the governor’s faith in me as the state moves forward on the path to a 100 percent renewable energy future.  I believe my experience and background, along with the support of the superb staff of the Public Utilities Commission, will allow me to contribute to the commission’s efforts in meeting the challenges associated with achieving this goal,” said Gorak.

Gorak replaces Michael Champley, whose term expires on June 30. Gorak begins his term on July 1. His appointment is subject to Senate approval.

PDF:  Attorney General’s letter to Ige Regarding PUC appointment

  *   *   *   *   *

Morita: Blatant attempt to kill NextEra Energy's plans to take over Hawaiian Electric

B: Hawaiian Electric -7% as new commissioner could be NextEra deal skeptic

  *   *   *   *   *

NextEra Energy-Hawaiian Electric sale decision could come next week

PBN: “Nothing is imminent,” Iwase said. “It’s not in the next two days (LOLROTF!), but soon, I hope. Sometime in the first week of July, hopefully." …

Iwase said he is hopeful a decision could come by next week because, “some of us will take trips and stuff.” Iwase said he is going on vacation to see his family.

A staff report, which includes the staff’s recommendation of a decision, has been circulating through the PUC since May, according to Iwase.

“That’s where the commissioners now have to go and come to their own conclusions to see how this case can be disposed of,” he said. (Translation: We will have the majority after June 30.)

Meanwhile, Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Wednesday afternoon was expected to make an announcement regarding a PUC commissioner whose term expires on Thursday.

Michael Champley was appointed to the PUC in 2011 by then-Gov. Neil Abercrombie for a term that expires on June 30.

Iwase, who was appointed by Ige in 2015, has a term that expires in 2020.  Lorraine Akiba, the other commissioner on the three-member commission, was appointed by Abercrombie in 2012, with a term that expires in 2018….

IM: Thomas Gorak appointed to Hawai`i PUC

read … Finally Got Rid of One of Abercrombie’s two Pro-NextEra Appointees


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