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Abbott Names Former Aide To Retired House Speaker To Post Regulating Power Grid

Will McAdams.
Texas Tribune
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Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Will McAdams, president of Associated Builders and Contractors, to the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday named Will McAdams, president of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas and a former aide at the Texas Capitol, to the board of the Public Utility Commission.

This is the governor's first nomination to the agency’s board that oversees the state's power grid after all three of the previous board members resigned in the aftermath of February’s deadly power outages that left millions without electricity in subfreezing temperatures.

McAdams will need to be confirmed by the state Senate.

"Will McAdams will bring a fresh perspective and outstanding leadership to the Public Utility Commission of Texas," Abbott said in a statement. "Will’s wealth of experience in public service and state government make him the ideal leader to carry out the PUC’s mission to protect customers, foster competition, and promote high quality infrastructure across Texas. Will is committed to charting a new course for the commission and restoring trust with Texans. I am confident that he will lead the agency with integrity and transparency and I urge the Senate to confirm Will's appointment."

McAdams used to work as an aide to former House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and for multiple state senators. Before that, McAdams served as an infantry officer in the Army.

The governor appoints nominees to the three-member Public Utility Commission board. The PUC oversees the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Abbott has criticized ERCOT for the state's power grid failure in February. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, meanwhile, has criticized the PUC and has called on Abbott to shake up the agency.

"His experience suggests he understands the electric industry. The question is, will he stand up to the industry and vigorously work to protect consumers and the environment?" said Environment Texas Executive Director Luke Metzger. "The PUC is a shipwreck right now."

This story was originally published by The Texas Tribune.