WisBusiness: PSC celebrates 100th birthday


More than 100 people, including commissioners past and present, attended a birthday party today celebrating the century mark of the state’s Public Service Commission. The event was held at the PSC headquarters on Whitney Way.

The three-member panel, which regulates the state’s utilities, is the oldest in the nation and began its life as the Railroad Commission. Gov. Jim Doyle, who spoke at the ceremony called it the “gold standard” for similar bodies around the nation.

Other speakers included Branko Terzic and George Edgar, both of whom served on the commission in the 1980s. Ave Bie, who chaired the panel in recent years, and former commissioner Scott Neitzel, also attended the ceremony.

The PSC was born in Wisconsin’s Progressive Era with its roots reaching back to 1874 and the founding of the Wisconsin Railroad Commission.

Over the past 100 years Wisconsin has set the bar high with its work for ratepayers through
innovate regulation of water, electric and telecommunications utilities, officials said.

The Commission has been an incubator for creative regulatory solutions that balance the need for reliable service and reasonable rates, they said. These include some of the earliest applications of economic theory to the regulation of utilities and groundbreaking work on energy efficiency.

The Commission continues to lead in these and other areas as it enters its second century, they said.

“On behalf of your friends and colleagues at the National Association of Regulatory Utility
Commissioners, I want to congratulate the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin as it
celebrates its 100th anniversary,” said NARUC President Jim Kerr.

“Throughout its distinguished history, the Wisconsin commission has been a national leader in progressive regulatory policy. This leadership continues today, from implementing innovative renewable energy initiatives to approving the first stand-alone transmission company in the nation.

The dedication and leadership of the Commissioners and staff, both past and present, have provided invaluable service to the citizens of Wisconsin and to the nation. We congratulate you for a century of outstanding service, and we look forward to continuing to work with you to meet the challenges that confront the citizens of Wisconsin and the nation.”