EnergyStatewide NewsGovernor Abbott Appoints Will McAdams to Public Utility Commission Vacancy

The Public Utility Commission is primed for new leadership after a slew of resignations after the Texas blackouts.
April 1, 2021
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After a few weeks with only one active figurehead, the much-maligned Public Utility Commission (PUC) is one step closer to filling one of its vacancies. 

Governor Greg Abbott announced today the nomination of Will McAdams, president of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), to one of the open spots.

“Will McAdams will bring a fresh perspective and outstanding leadership to the Public Utility Commission of Texas,” Abbott said in the announcement.

“Will is committed to charting a new course for the commission and restoring trust with Texans. I am confident that he will lead the agency with integrity and transparency and I urge the Senate to confirm Will’s appointment.”

The PUC oversees the state’s utility infrastructure for everything from telecommunications and sewage systems to the power grid.

The Texan Tumbler

The appointment comes after a month and a half of turmoil and fallout from the February blackouts. After giving public testimony before state House and Senate committee investigative hearings, then PUC Chair DeAnn Walker resigned at the request of Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.

From there, sitting commissioner Arthur D’Andrea was appointed by Abbott to assume the chair position. Shortly thereafter, the other PUC Commissioner, Shelly Botkin, also resigned.

For a couple of weeks thereafter, D’Andrea served as the only figurehead on the state’s utility agency. Due to D’Andrea’s position on electricity repricing espoused in more hearings, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick came calling for his resignation, too, but was rebuffed by Abbott — for whom D’Andrea previously worked and by whom D’Andrea was appointed a few years ago.

The final straw for D’Andrea fell, however, when a recording was released of a call held with D’Andrea and Bank of America investors during which he assured questioners of his opposition to repricing.

Within hours, Abbott had requested and received D’Andrea’s resignation — conditional upon the appointment of his replacement.

McAdams has been with the Texas ABC since 2019 and served previously as an advisor to former Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) and as the state Senate Finance Committee director.

Abbott further added of McAdams, “Will’s wealth of experience in public service and state government make him the ideal leader to carry out the PUC’s mission to protect customers, foster competition, and promote high quality infrastructure across Texas.” 

The appointment must be confirmed by the state Senate.

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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.