Gov. Greg Abbott taps new head of Texas utility regulator in wake of power outages

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Governor Greg Abbott has named Arthur D’Andrea chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Credit: Texas Public Utility Commission

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday promoted Arthur D’Andrea to chair the state’s utility regulator, replacing the Public Utility Commission leader who resigned earlier this week following widespread power outages in February.

The governor appoints commissioners to lead the PUC, which oversees the state’s grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. D’Andrea, appointed by Abbott in 2017 to the three-member board that runs the Public Utility Commission, is a lawyer who previously worked at the Texas attorney general's office and for a private law firm.

D'Andrea replaces DeAnn Walker, who resigned as chair of the PUC earlier this week after Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and state lawmakers called for her to resign following the blackouts. D’andrea earned a salary of $201,000 from the state as of Feb. 1, the same salary as Walker’s was. It is unclear whether D'Andrea will receive a pay raise.