On Tuesday, January 11, 2022, the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Technology had a confirmation hearing for Mr. William S. Harwood to serve as Maine’s next Public Advocate. Mr. Harwood has previously spent 42 years as a partner and practice group leader at the law firm of Verrill Dana. After leaving Verrill Dana, Bill has spent the past six months as a Senior Adviser on Regulatory Affairs in the Governor’s Energy Office. The Energy, Utilities, and Technology committee voted unanimously in support of Mr. Harwood’s nomination and will be recommending confirmation to the Maine State Senate. The Senate will reconvene on Wed., January 26, and it is likely they will vote on Mr. Harwood’s confirmation. If confirmed, Mr. Harwood would replace former Public Advocate Barry Hobbins, who retired from the position in June 2021. Andrew Landry, Deputy Public Advocate, has served as Acting Public Advocate in the interim.
-There is no question that Mr. Harwood is one of the most experienced individuals in Maine when it comes to these matters. One of the primary responsibilities of the Public Advocate is to represent the interests of Maine ratepayers to the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Mr. Harwood has represented electric, gas, water, and telecommunications companies in more than 50 major cases at the MPUC, FERC, and FCC. These experiences, along with his more than 40 years of work in the industry, proves that Mr. Harwood is exceptionally qualified and experienced for this role.
We are at a critical moment for the future of energy policy in our state. Maine needs experienced and dedicated leaders involved in policymaking decisions, and there is no one better positioned to help us through these times than Mr. Harwood.
The Maine State Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate Bill for receiving this nomination. We would also like to applaud Governor Janet Mills for nominating him, and we thank the Energy, Utilities, and Technology committee for unanimously supporting this nomination. We are hopeful that the Maine State Senate will unanimously confirm Mr. Harwood when they return to session later this month, and we encourage them to do so. For more information or if you have further questions, please contact Ben Lucas by calling (207) 623-4568, ext. 111, or by emailing email@example.com.