Andrew Place Ends His Tenure On The Public Utility Commission

On April 16, Andrew Place announced he is resigning his position as a Commissioner on the Public Utility Commission after serving for five years.

In a short statement at the Commission’s public meeting, Commissioner Place said--

“As I have noted to the Governor and to the staff of the Commission, I am resigning this seat. My tenure ends Sunday evening.

“I have accepted a position out-of-state focused on energy and climate – science, technology, economics and policy.

“This was not an easy decision. I am most grateful for the Governor’s desire for my continued service and, for many reasons, I also share his desire to continue to serve the public good. In the end though perhaps it came down to timing.

“I’m fifty-nine, consequently at a pretty clear final career path choice – Robert Frost’s “roads diverged”.

“I am a proud and simple cog in this wheel, and always viewed these obligations as such.

“It has been a true honor to have served the public interest, and with the staff in my office and so many exceptional staff within the Commission, as well as so many in the stakeholder community.

“My only regret perhaps being that it could not have been anonymous.

“I must though end with poetry, and an homage to Frost:

“I shall be telling this with a sigh

“Somewhere ages and ages hence:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

“I took the one less traveled by,

“And that has made all the difference.

“I wish all of you the best.

Commissioner Place, who was nominated by Gov. Tom Wolf on May 18, 2015, joined the Public Utility Commission on Oct. 1, 2015, taking the oath of office one day after receiving the unanimous approval of the Pennsylvania Senate. Place served as PUC Vice Chairman on 2015-18.

During his confirmation hearing, Place pledged to be “an unassailably independent voice,” and noted the many challenges and opportunities facing the Commission, ranging from utility infrastructure and competitive consumer markets to rail safety, utility security, energy diversity and efficiency.

In October 2019, Vice Chairman Place was elected to serve as Vice President for the Organization of PJM States Inc. an intergovernmental organization of utility regulatory agencies that are part of the PJM Interconnection LLC. He previously served as Secretary of OPSI.

The recipient of the 2013 Energy Leadership Award by the Pittsburgh Business Times, Place has served as a keynote speaker, lecturer and panelist at numerous national and international energy-related forums.

With a background in business, academia, state government service and agriculture, he brought a unique blend of insights to the Commission’s efforts to balance the needs of consumers and utilities.

Prior to his appointment to the Commission, Place was the corporate director for energy and environmental policy at Pittsburgh-headquartered EQT Corporation, where he focused on the economic, social and environmental balance inherent in energy policy choices.

He also worked to establish the Center for Responsible Shale Development, whose collaborative efforts have been praised by The Washington Post and the Christian Science Monitor.

Additionally, Place has served a number of roles at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

He was also a research fellow in Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Engineering and Public Policy and has taught at the University as an adjunct professor.

As a disaster service volunteer for the American Red Cross, Place was deployed twice to assist with response and recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina.

He also serves on the board of Global Pittsburgh, a nonprofit organization that works to welcome international students and influencers to the Pittsburgh region and encourages more people to consider living and working in the region.

For more information, visit the Public Utility Commission website.

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