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Gov. Moore is about to shake up the Public Service Commission

January 28th, 2023 by WCBC Radio

With a single, swift personnel move this week, Gov. Wes Moore (D) may have done more to advance Maryland’s battle against climate change than volumes of legislation or months of advocacy ever could.  That’s the optimistic view of many environmentalists after Moore announced Wednesday that he was rescinding 48 recess appointments to state boards and commissions that his predecessor, former Gov. Larry Hogan (R), made last year. Included on the list were two of Hogan’s appointees to the Maryland Public Service Commission — meaning Moore is now in the position to pick three of the panel’s five commissioners over the next several weeks.

“The environmental community is ecstatic,” said Josh Tulkin, director of the Maryland Sierra Club. “This is the single biggest thing you can do to set up climate progress in this state for the next four years.”

The Public Service Commission is an obscure and often sleepy regulatory entity, steeped in the arcana of energy policy, utility law, gas and electricity generation and transmission, and consumer protection mandates. But it regulates an enormous part of the economy, as Marylanders spend billions of dollars a year to turn on the lights and heat their homes, businesses, commercial buildings and public institutions