Community Engagement

Kostick assumes chairmanship of Policy Makers Council

Ben Kostick, a commissioner with Public Utility District No. 1 of Lewis County, Wash., on July 23 assumed the chairmanship of the American Public Power Association’s Policy Makers Council while in Washington, D.C., for a PMC meeting and trips to Capitol Hill.

The PMC meets twice a year in Washington, D.C., and visits with elected representatives and congressional staff on issues critical to public power.

In their meetings with lawmakers and staff this month, PMC members highlighted a number of priority issues for the public power community.

In particular, they emphasized public power’s opposition to S. 3157 (The STREAMLINE Small Cell Deployment Act), which would repeal the public power exemption from Federal Communications Commission pole attachment regulations. The measure is sponsored by Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii.

PMC members also underscored the need for Congress to oppose the Trump Administration’s plans to divest the transmission assets held by the Tennessee Valley Authority and three of the Power Marketing Administrations: Southwestern Power Administration, Western Area Power Administration, and Bonneville Power Administration, which was proposed in the Administration’s recent report on government reorganization.

The American Public Power Association “will continue to adamantly oppose any effort by the federal government to privatize TVA and PMA assets that have been paid for by electricity customers,” Sue Kelly, president and CEO of the Association, said in a statement on June 22.

Other priority issues highlighted by PMC members in their visits to Capitol Hill included:

  • The need to fix Regional Transmission Organization-run wholesale electricity markets;
  • Enabling strong industry-government partnerships to prevent, prepare for and respond to cyber and physical attacks to the grid;
  • Supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to develop environmental regulations that work; and
  • Supporting tax-exempt municipal bond-funded electric system investments.

Other PMC changes

Along with Kostick assuming the PMC chairmanship, David Alvey, mayor/CEO of Wyandotte County, Kansas City, Kansas, is now 1st Committee Vice-Chair of the PMC, while Kathy Vaughn, Commissioner, Snohomish County PUD, Washington, is 2nd Committee Vice-Chair.

William Acee, mayor of the Village of Sherburne, N.Y., is the immediate past chair for the PMC.

The PMC has 45 members, which include elected or appointed officials on the governing bodies of public power communities.

Four members are appointed to the PMC from each of the 10 geographic regions.