A few minutes ago, I was sent a copy of a letter from PUC Chairman Ron Binz to Governor John Hickenlooper, in which Binz withdraws from consideration for another four year term. I just called the PUC media office, and a spokesman confirmed that Binz is stepping down.
He was appointed PUC Chairman in January 2007 by then Governor Bill Ritter. In that capacity, he was a key player in enacting Ritter’s “New Energy Economy.” It was under his watch that the PUC changed its mission from providing least-cost electricity, to promoting expensive, “green” energy. As such, he is in part responsible for the precipitous rate increases that Colorado electricity consumers are now experiencing, and will continue to endure, for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, it appears as if he won’t stop facilitating expensive energy policies–in the letter, he states that he is leaving the PUC “to work with organizations that promote clean energy policies here and across the country.”
While I vehemently disagree with Binz’s New Energy Economy, and I am sure history will not view his PUC tenure kindly, I must note that my limited experience with him leads me to believe he’s an affable guy. He chaired hearings with a calm disposition, and he often cracked jokes that were genuinely funny.
William Yeatman is an energy policy analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute