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Pennsylvania Senate Okays New PUC Commissioner

Pennsylvania Senate Okays New PUC Commissioner

The Pennsylvania Senate voted last week to confirm Chester, PA Mayor Aaron Wilson Jr. to the state Public Utility Commission replacing Commissioner John Hanger and effectively ending that state's leadership toward substantive electric and natural gas deregulation. Only a handful of senators opposed the nomination.

Hanger, whose term ran out April 1, had been the main force in crafting and implementing legislation to deregulate the electric and communications industry. He also led the 3-2 PUC vote rejecting the restructuring plan of Peco Energy and substituting a more consumer-friendly one in its place. Wilson, a retired educator, had supported Peco in the restructuring battle. His city of Chester has been in negotiations with Peco over an extensive land tract the company owns there.

Hanger said "Gov. Ridge fired me because I am independent and because I have led the charge to replace electric, telephone and gas monopolies with genuine competition." The Pennsylvania legislature is expected to consider gas deregulation for the state this fall.

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