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TribBlog: PUC Chairman Won't Seek ERCOT Job

Smitherman says while it's probably legal for the state's top energy regulator to seek the ERCOT chief executive job, "it just doesn't feel right to go forward."

Barry Smitherman

The chairman of the influential Public Utility Commission won't seek the top job at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

The Texas Tribune wrote this article last week questioning whether Barry Smitherman — who regulates ERCOT in his capacity as the PUC chairman — could legally or ethically apply for the now-vacant ERCOT chief executive job, a $350,000-per-year gig. 

Smitherman said over the last few weeks he "kicked around the idea" of making a play for the position. He even discussed the idea in executive session with ERCOT's board of directors, on which he sits as an ex-officio member. In the end, he said, while it "appeared to be legal," it just didn't feel right.

"I think to everybody — to the ERCOT board and to me — it just doesn't feel right to go forward," he said. "I've informed the ERCOT board I am not a candidate for the job."



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Energy Environment State government State agencies Texas Public Utility Commission