Republican Todd Snitchler will not seek reappointment by Gov. John Kasich to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, the agency announced Tuesday.
Snitchler, of Uniontown in Stark County, was appointed in March 2011 to a term that expires in April 2014.
PUCO is a powerful five-member board with a staff of 320 that regulates utilities including telephones, electric and natural gas companies. The commission is funded from fees paid on monthly utility bills paid by millions of Ohio residents and businesses. Commissioners are appointed by the governor to staggered, five-year terms, and are paid between $119,995 and $124,509 a year.
Snitchler’s tenure has been marked by controversies. The PUCO went against a staff recommendation and ruled against a solar energy project proposed by American Electric Power and Turning Point Solar. Snitchler has shared his anti-green energy views openly on his Twitter account.
Snitchler also chairs the Ohio Power Siting Board, which decides whether energy projects, such a power plants, solar fields and wind turbines, are in the public interest.
Snitchler, a former lawmaker, has also attended conferences and meetings sponsored by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative group that seeks to reduce government regulation. And the Dayton Daily News detailed how the PUCO sent 20 people to a conference in Orlando at a cost of $34,000.
Snitchler said in a written statement issued by the PUCO: “The work of the Commission affects every Ohioan and I am proud of the work to which I was able to contribute to. I have invested more than five years in public service, three of which were at the helm of the Commission, but I believe now is the time to move ahead into my next role.”
The PUCO said Snitchler’s work has focused on developing competitive markets, advancing gas pipeline safety and leading the charge on gas and electric industry coordination.
The PUCO nominating committee will consider applicants for the post and send a list of candidates to Kasich to consider.
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