Saturday, July 25, 2015

Consumers Energy Lobbyist Appointed as MPSC Commissioner

Impartiality and Fairness Expected from 30-Year Utility Industry Employee
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has appointed longtime Consumers Energy lobbyist Norm
Saari to the Michigan Public Service Commission. He spent 30 years at Consumers Energy, then worked in the legislature. We can bet we will be an advocate for the people, given his industry ties (sarcasm intended!). We can be he will also work hard to keep the legislature on the side of the utilities. Snyder, on the other hand, says Saari will “fairly and objectively” help Michigan obtain a “reliable, affordable” energy supply that protects the environment. As the Times-Herald opinion piece says: “Who won’t ask themselves how a man drawing a pension from Consumers Energy can regulate that company fairly and objectively? Who won’t question whether Consumers’ competitors might be at some small disadvantage when Saari is one of the three commissioners setting the rules for them?”

For the past two years, Saari has been chief of staff to Republican House Speaker Kevin Cotter and former Speaker Jase Bolger, says the Detroit News.

The MPSC’s mission statement “is to grow Michigan's economy and enhance the quality of life of its communities by assuring safe and reliable energy and telecommunications services at reasonable rates.”

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