Gov. Peter Shumlin announced Monday that Rep. Margaret Cheney, D-Norwich, will assume David Coen’s position on the three-member Public Service Board.
Cheney will take her seat on Oct. 1 with the quasi-judicial board, responsible for regulating Vermont utility and telecom issues. Board members serve six-year stints, and Coen’s tenure officially ended in February of this year. Former Gov. Howard Dean appointed Coen, and he has remained on until Shumlin appointed a replacement.
Cheney, who is married to Vermont’s U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, is resigning from the Legislature and, consequently, as vice chair of the House Energy Committee.
“Margaret brings a critical combination of expertise in policy and public engagement,” Shumlin said in a statement. “Her track record as a former journalist, school board chair, teacher, legislator, and vice-chair of a key energy committee is impressive. Her commitment to civic involvement and her familiarity with Vermont energy policy make her a perfect addition to the Board.”
Cheney has been a leader in the Green Mountain State for renewable energy reforms and programs that make more efficient use of resources.
House Speaker Shap Smith said she would be missed in the Legislature.
“Margaret has been incredibly important to that (energy) committee, working with representative Klein and others on the committee to flesh out and understand how Vermont can move towards an energy future that is less reliant on carbon,” he said. “Margaret will be a great fit for the Public Service Board. She is really well versed in energy and land-use policy and is reasonable and fair-minded and will be a great person to have on the board.”
Cheney will earn a salary of $86,000 a year.