The Bulletin Board

Goldner confirmed as chairman of utilities commission

By: - November 10, 2021 11:50 am
The State House dome behind a tree branch

Cinde Warmington, a Democrat, was the lone councilor to vote against Goldner’s confirmation as PUC chairman. (Dana Wormald | New Hampshire Bulletin)

Dan Goldner was confirmed as the new chairman of the Public Utilities Commission in a 4-1 vote by the Executive Council on Wednesday. Carleton Simpson, who worked most recently as a lawyer for Unitil, one of the state’s electric utilities, was also confirmed, 5-0, to serve as a commissioner.

Cinde Warmington, a Democrat, was the lone councilor to vote against Goldner’s confirmation. Warmington has questioned Goldner about his position on climate change and criticized his initial appointment to the utilities commission in May, citing his lack of professional experience in energy issues.

Consumer Advocate Don Kreis said Goldner has made a positive impression by asking deep and incisive questions during hearings held at the utilities commission so far. Kreis said he was cautiously optimistic about Goldner serving as chairman.  

Goldner will replace Dianne Martin, who served as chairwoman of the utilities commission for two years and recently announced her resignation from the role. Simpson is replacing Kate Bailey, who served her full six-year term and was not reappointed by Sununu.

The commission, which until recently was made up of two women, will now be made up exclusively of men if Pradip Chattopadhyay – who was nominated to serve as the third commissioner during an October Executive Council meeting – is confirmed.

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Amanda Gokee
Amanda Gokee

Amanda Gokee is the New Hampshire Bulletin’s energy and environment reporter. She previously reported on these issues at VTDigger. Amanda grew up in Vermont and is a graduate of Harvard University. She received her master’s degree in liberal studies, with a concentration in creative writing, from Dartmouth College. Her work has also appeared in the LA Review of Books and the Valley News.