While the composition of the three-member Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) remains intact, by state legislative mandate, on Monday the regulators had to name a new president, so they elected a former state lawmaker, Jim Kempton, to a two-year term heading the regulatory body. Kempton replaces Mack Redford, who remains on the regulatory panel. Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter appointed Kempton, from Albion, ID, to the PUC in October 2007 to fill an unexpired term of then-Commissioner Paul Kjellander, who was selected by the governor to head up a newly created state Office of Energy Resources. Before joining the PUC, Kempton was one of two Idaho representatives on the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, to which he had been appointed by former Gov. Dirk Kempthorne. In this capacity he acted as the state's cabinet-level representative for natural resources. Kempton served in the Idaho House of Representatives from 1991 to 2000, where his committee assignments included those on the environment, taxation and transportation among others. Kempton holds two degree in physics and is a former faculty member at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He once served as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force.
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