Monday, November 7, 2011

Independent Appointed to Block's Old PRC Seat

Gov. Susana Martinez has appointed Santa Fe energy consultant Doug Howe to fill out the term of Jerome Block, Jr., who resigned last month from the Public Regulation Commission.

Howe is a registered independent. He will join two Democrats and two Republicans on the PRC, which regulates utilities, corporations, the insurance and transportation industries and other areas.

Here's the governor's news release:

Governor Susana Martinez announced today that she has appointed Doug Howe of Santa Fe to represent District Three on the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. Howe is a professional in the energy sector who currently serves as a consultant to Cambridge Energy Research Associates (IHS CERA), a research and consulting company focused on regulatory, policy, environmental, and conservation issues. He will fill the seat vacated by former Commissioner Jerome Block, Jr., who resigned from his position on October 7.

“Northern and Central New Mexicans deserve a commissioner who is competent, trustworthy, and focused on the numerous issues in front of the PRC,” said Governor Martinez. “As an accomplished professional who is well-versed in energy, environmental, and regulatory issues, Dr. Howe has demonstrated the knowledge and experience required to serve capably on behalf of the people of New Mexico. I am confident that he is the right pick to serve on the PRC and will approach his position thoughtfully and professionally.”

Since 2010, Howe has served as an independent consultant to IHS CERA, working on issues relating to regulations, environmental policy, renewable energy, and conservation for companies in the global energy sector. From 2002 to 2010, Howe was employed by IHS CERA as a senior director and consultant. He has also worked as Vice President for Regulatory Policy for General Public Utilities Service Corporation and acted as a consultant to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He has consulted on a number of energy issues and development projects in the United States and abroad. Howe holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Kansas State University and earned his M.S. and PhD in Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a registered Decline-to-State voter.

Following Block’s announcement that he would resign from the PRC, the Governor’s office received roughly 90 applications for the vacant seat, which serves portions or all of Bernalillo County, Colfax County, De Baca County, Guadalupe County, Harding County, Los Alamos County, Rio Arriba County, San Miguel County, Sandoval County, Santa Fe County, Taos County, and Union County. After reviewing applications with a focus on professional qualifications and experience, Governor Martinez announced five finalists for the position on October 24. The Governor’s appointment of Howe is effective immediately.