Texas gets third member of PUC, sets up tiebreaker

An aide to Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been appointed to the state’s Public Utility Commission (PUC), giving that panel an apparent tie-breaking member on electric policy.

On Aug. 21 Perry appointed Brandy Marty of Austin to the PUC.

Marty most recently served as chief of staff for the governor’s. She has also served as the governor’s deputy chief of staff, director of the Budget, Planning and Policy Division, and as deputy legislative director as House liaison. Marty was also policy director for the governor’s 2010 primary campaign.

Marty received a bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Texas and a law degree from St. Mary’s University.

The three-member PUC encourages competition and customer choice in Texas, and ensures electric and telephone operations, services and rates are fair and reasonable.

Texas PUC Chair Donna Nelson and Commissioner Kenneth Anderson Jr. reportedly don’t share the same vision of how best to balance markets and reliability for the Texas grid. This could make the newest appointee, Marty a tie-breaker.

“I know that many parties vigorously oppose a capacity market, but I believe we need to review the pros and cons of the various options before moving forward,” Nelson wrote in a 16-page memo on Aug. 8.

“We still believe a capacity market (or resource adequacy construct to address a mandated reserve margin) in Texas is an inevitable response to lack of progress on power market reforms and limited construction in the face of continued load growth,” according to a commentary issued Aug. 22 by UBS Investment Research Analyst Julien Dumoulin-Smith.

“Lastly, it’s important to note that Nelson retained the chairmanship despite the latest appointment,” Dumoulin-Smith said. The next commission meeting is set for Aug. 29.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.