Wolf nominates EQT executive to Public Utility Commission
Governor Wolf has chosen EQT executive Andrew Place to serve as a commissioner on the state Public Utility Commission.
Place is currently the corporate director for energy and environmental policy at EQT, where he focuses on Marcellus Shale natural gas development. Before joining the gas company in 2011, he worked on environmental issues for Carnegie Mellon University and the state Department of Environmental Protection. He replaces PUC commissioner James Cawley, whose term expired in March.
“Andrew Place brings the knowledge and expertise to help advance my vision for the PUC,” Wolf said in a statement. “We must ensure there is a balance between consumers and utilities. We also have to develop Pennsylvania’s abundance of energy resources to make sure we have the infrastructure to support the natural gas and other energy industries.”
Place had recently been in the news for taking on the job of interim executive director for the Pittsburgh-based Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD). The organization launched in 2013 with a list of environmental best practices and a voluntary accreditation process for shale drillers. Place stepped down from the position in early 2014. Over the past two years, CSSD has struggled with its image– as very few gas companies sought its approval and some environmental groups criticized it for “greenwashing” drilling.
Place’s nomination now goes to the state senate for confirmation.