Longtime South Carolina Public Service Commission (PSC) member David Wright, who was active nuclear power policy issues affecting states, resigned from the PSC effective May 31.
Upon his retirement, Commissioner Wright plans to stay engaged in issues and opportunities in the energy sector and other regulated utility areas. He also plans to be active in volunteer work, the PSC said in a May 30 statement.
Wright has been a member of the PSC since 2004, as an elected member representing the state’s Second Congressional District.
He was also elected by his peers to serve as the President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) in 2011-2012, and served as President of the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (SEARUC) in 2008-2009.
In his NARUC role, Wright was a critic of the U.S. Department of Energy’s failure to arrange for long-term storage of spent fuel from nuclear plants.
During his time at the PSC, Commissioner Wright was elected to chair national committees on issues relevant to South Carolina, testified before Congress at least nine times, and also represented South Carolina and NARUC before the Federal Electric Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.
During Wright’s tenure at the PSC, he participated in carrying out the mandates of Act 175, which split the commission into two agencies, the PSC and the newly created Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS).
On May 16, Wright announced his retirement in a letter to Sen. Thomas Alexander, chairman of the South Carolina Public Utilities Review Committee (PURC).
“I’m still young enough to do something else,” Wright was quoted as saying in the State newspaper in South Carolina. “I’m looking for a challenge.” The newspaper put his age at 57 and noted that he had previously been a state representative and local mayor.
Wright could have served until his current term expires at the end of June 2014. South Carolina law gives the governor the option to appoint an interim commissioner to serve an unexpired term.