Environmental Group Questions Integrity Of New PSC Appointee

Walker Announced On Monday That DOA Secretary Huebsch Will Serve On Regulatory Body


Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch. Courtesy of State of Wisconsin.

A citizens group is raising concerns about Gov. Scott Walker’s new appointments to the Public Service Commission, the state agency that regulates utilities and telecommunications.

The governor wants Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch to become one of the three PSC commissioners, joining two other Walker appointees. Mitch Brey of RePower Madison said he worries about Huebsch’s independence.

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“The commissioners are supposed to be experts in energy and the utility industry,” said Brey. “But what I think is most important is to have someone who’s unbiased who would look at each case and make decisions based on the record. I think with Mike Huebsch and his close association with Scott Walker that he’s really going to be taking orders from the governor.”

Brey said departing commissioner Eric Callisto, a Doyle appointee whose term is expiring, is the only PSC member who listened to the public during controversial rate cases last fall.

PSC spokesman Nathan Conrad said Mike Huebsch is a devoted servant to the people of the state of Wisconsin, and said to question otherwise is disingenuous at best.

Brey said he’s also concerned about Gogebic Taconite mining company spokesman Bob Seitz becoming executive assistant to incoming PSC Chairwoman Ellen Nowak. Conrad, however, said Seitz has extensive management experience and knowledge of the state’s administrative processes, and will be a valuable addition to the agency.