The Texas Public Utility Commission has a new member with Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) appointment of Arthur D’Andrea to a six year term.  D’Andrea currently serves as assistant general counsel to Gov. Abbott and was previously an assistant solicitor general for the Texas Attorney General’s office.

This makes Gov. Abbott’s second appointment of the year, having named DeAnn Walker as the new chairman in September, after the surprise announcement that Chairman Donna Nelson was stepping down only two years into her second term.  D’Andrea is filling the spot previously held by Ken Anderson, appointed by then Governor Rick Perry (R), whose six year term expired in August of 2017.

This is a critical time for the state as it is struggling to find a new owner for Oncor Electric, Texas’s largest utility, after rejecting NextEra’s bid to acquire Oncor from Energy Future Holdings Corp.  The PUC is currently considering a bid from Sempra Energy.  Other concerns currently before the commission include Lubbock Power & Light’s request to join ERCOT, Entergy’s participation in MISO, AEP’s request to install batteries as distribution assets, the sale of Dynegy, and issues related to market design reform.

D’Andrea hold a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from The UT School of Law.  His first open meeting with the commission is believed to be tomorrow, November 17th.