Crist cleans house at utility reg panelby Dara Kam | October 1st, 2009
Gov. Charlie Crist appointed two new utility regulators to the Public Service Commission, snubbing current Chairman Matthew Carter and Commissioner Katrina McMurrian.
Crist tapped former newspaperman David Klement and Escambia County Sheriff’s Office CFO Benjamin “Steve” Stevens and shaking up the status quo at the regulatory panel mired in controversy in the process of deciding on a proposed $1.3 billion Florida Power & Light Co. rate hike.
The ouster of McMurrian and Carter makes it likely that renegade Commissioner Nancy Argenziano, an outspoken critic of the PSC who accuses regulators of being too close to the utilities they oversee, will take over as chairwoman of the panel next year.
Crist put Argenziano, a former state senator, on the board two years ago to represent consumers and his picks today of two new commissioners who have no ties to utilities mark a decided shift from a PSC that has up until now been viewed as utility-friendly.