It has been reported that Tom Congdon, Chief of Staff of the N.Y. Department of Public Service, has just been named Deputy Chair of the State’s Public Service Commission (“PSC”) by outgoing Chair Audrey Zibelman.
Congdon, who was Governor Cuomo’s Assistant Secretary for Energy for over four years, is considered to be strongly supportive of the Governor’s energy agenda.
As current PSC Chair Zibelman is resigning her chairmanship effective later this month – and with that resignation the PSC will be down to two commissioners – the ability of the PSC to move forward with its current agenda is unclear. Interestingly, there has not been any significant action to date to bring the PSC back to its full complement of five commissioners.
While it is unusual for a Deputy Chair to not be a commissioner, the fact that Congdon has been named may be a sign of difficulty (and perhaps further delay) in naming and confirming a new PSC chair as well as two more commissioners. This could impact a myriad of PSC actions, including moving the Governor’s controversial and complex Reforming the Energy Vision (“REV”) initiative forward.
Phillips Lytle’s Energy Practice Team has extensive expertise in Public Service Commission/Utility regulatory matters, as well as other energy-related issues. For more information about Phillips Lytle’s Energy practice, please contact David P. Flynn, Partner, at (716)847-5473, firstname.lastname@example.org.