Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has reappointed Philip Jones to a second six-year term on the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC). The appointment requires state Senate confirmation, and would run through Jan. 1, 2017. Gregoire originally named Jones, 57, to the UTC in 2005. Jones is active in the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), serving on the board of directors and the NARUC executive committee as second vice president, along with the international relations and telecommunications committees. Jones also is active on the NARUC Washington (DC) Action Committee and board chair for the National Regulatory Research Institute. Jones was a former senior executive with Cutter & Buck (Europe) BV in Amsterdam, the Netherlands for five years and prior to that was a senior legislative aide to former U.S. Sen. Daniel Evans (R-WA). Jones is a 1977 graduate of Harvard, with honors.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has a new general manager, Seattle-based energy consultant, Ron Nichols, whose selection was approved unanimously by the Los Angeles City Council. A former senior executive with Navigant Consulting Inc., Nichols committed to the city elected officials to be a long-time leader of LADWP, which has had five general managers since 2007, and to "restore the public trust" in the city-run utility, which was embroiled in a stalemate with political leaders last year over rates and renewable energy projects. Nichols did not give any specifics on the prospects for future rate increases, but he made it clear there would be continuing pressures to raise rates as the LADWP attempts to fulfill an aggressive climate change and renewable energy program outlined by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who named Nichols to head the utility late last year, subject to the council's approval.

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