Former Idaho state Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, has been appointed by Gov. Butch Otter to fill a vacancy on the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. Pending Senate confirmation, Anderson will serve out the remainder of the term of the late Commissioner Mack Redford, which runs through Jan. 9. 2019; after Redford died last February, former Commissioner Marsha Smith temporarily returned to the commission until a longer-term appointment could be made. Anderson served five terms in the state House of Representatives, and was chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee when he left office in 2014.
“Eric is known and widely respected for his strong leadership, knowledge and experience in many aspects of the energy field – from generation to transmission and from environmental protection to fighting the spread of disruptive invasive species,” Otter said in a statement. “More than that, he is a focused and determined public servant who understands the importance of responsibly regulated public utilities to Idaho’s economy and way of life. Eric brings a passion to this work that I’m confident will make him an exceptional commissioner.”
Anderson is currently a director and vice president of Sandpoint-based Northern Lights Inc. He has been a director of the Idaho Consumer Owned Utilities Association, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and the Idaho Energy Resources Authority. He’s also a past member and more recently an adviser to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Council and a member of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region’s (PNWER) Executive Council. Anderson also chaired a legislative Interim Subcommittee on Renewable Energy.
“I am honored to be appointed and by the opportunity to again serve the people of Idaho in this new role,” Anderson said in a statement. “There is significant change occurring in our energy future. I am excited by the chance to embrace this change and help craft solutions that will keep energy costs low for Idaho homes and businesses.”
The Idaho PUC has three members; the other two are President Paul Kjellander and Commissioner Kristine Raper. Commission posts are full-time positions that pay an annual salary of $97,799. The commission regulates utilities and railroads, hears and decides complaints, and issues written orders similar to court orders that are appealable to the Idaho Supreme Court.