PUC Chairman on Wind, Smart Meters and the ERCOT Job

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When Barry Smitherman got tapped for the Public Utility Commission in 2004, he was surprised to learn that Texas had its own electricity grid.

A Highlands native, Smitherman had spent 16 years in investment banking, specializing in public finance and infrastructure projects. He was sacked in 2002 for helping to write an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle advising Houston that the bonds the city was considering were a bad deal. Soon after, he took a job as a prosecutor in the district attorney's office in Houston — starting at the bottom, as a "baby prosecutor" — and wrote a book titled ...

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