Governor Greg Abbott today announced the appointment of Will McAdams, President of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), for one of the vacancies. McAdams must be confirmed by the state Senate. „Will McAdams will bring new perspective and exceptional leadership to the Texas Public Utilities Commission,“ Abbott said in the announcement. „His experience suggests that he understands the electrical industry. The question is whether he will stand up to the industry and work vigorously to protect consumers and the environment? “ said Luke Metzger, Executive Director of Environment Texas. „The PUC is a shipwreck right now.“ „Will is committed to setting a new course for the Commission and restoring the confidence of Texans. I am confident that he will lead the agency with integrity and transparency, and I ask the Senate to confirm Will`s appointment. Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday appointed Will McAdams, president of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas and a former employee of the Texas Capitol, to the board of directors of the Public Utility Commission. „Will McAdams will bring new perspective and exceptional leadership to the Texas Public Utilities Commission,“ Abbott said in a statement. „Will`s extensive experience in public and state government makes him the ideal leader to carry out PUC`s mission of protecting customers, promoting competition, and promoting high-quality infrastructure throughout Texas. Will pledged to set a new course for the Commission and restore the confidence of Texans. I am confident that he will lead the agency with integrity and transparency, and I ask the Senate to confirm Will`s appointment.
The Governor appoints candidates to the three-member Board of Directors of the Public Utilities Commission. The PUC oversees the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Abbott criticized ERCOT for the state`s power grid outage in February. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, meanwhile, criticized the PUC and called on Abbott to shake up the agency. . McAdams has been with Texas ABC since 2019 and previously served as an advisor to former President Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) and director of the Senate Finance Committee. This date comes after a month and a half of unrest and the consequences of power outages in February. After public testimony before the investigative hearings of the then-HOUSE and Senate committees of the PUC, DeAnn Walker resigned at the request of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. For a few weeks later, D`Andrea was the only figurehead of the state utility agency. Because of D`Andrea`s stance on the electricity reshuffle, which has been advocated at other hearings, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick also called for his resignation, but was rejected by Abbott – for whom D`Andrea had previously worked and by whom D`Andrea was appointed a few years ago. Abbott added of McAdams: „Will`s wealth of experience in the public and state government makes him the ideal leader to execute puc`s mission of protecting customers, promoting competition, and promoting high-quality infrastructure across Texas.“ The three former PUC commissioners resigned after Patrick and lawmakers demanded his resignation while the PUC would not retroactively adjust the price of electricity in the electricity market during the winter storm.
Experts said such a move could make things worse, and it`s unclear how adjusting the price of electricity during the winter storm would affect Texas` electricity consumers. This is the governor`s first appointment to the board of directors of the agency that oversees the state`s power grid after the resignation of the three former board members after February`s deadly power outages left millions without power at sub-freezing temperatures. The agency came under fire after widespread power outages killed nearly 200 Texans, according to the Houston Chronicle. Will McAdams has also served as an advisor to three senators. He must be confirmed by the Senate before taking up the position on the Public Utilities Commission. Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to date with The Texas` most important news. From there, Interim Commissioner Arthur D`Andrea of Abbott was appointed to take over as President. Soon after, the other PUC commissioner, Shelly Botkin, also resigned.
The meeting room of the Texas Public Utility Commission. Photo by Barlandrew/Wikimedia Commons. The straw that broke the camel`s back for D`Andrea, however, came when a recording of a phone call with D`Andrea and Bank of America investors was released, in which he assured interviewees of his rejection of the revaluation. McAdams previously served as an adviser to former House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and several state senators. Prior to that, McAdams served as an infantry officer in the army. The PUC oversees the state`s utility infrastructure for everything from telecommunications and sewer systems to the power grid. .