National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) President Colette D. Honorable of Arkansas issued the following statement recognizing the association’s official founding 125 years ago:
“Today, 125 years ago, a group of federal and state utility regulators founded the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. In its original incarnation NARUC was called the National Association of Railway Commissioners, reflecting its focus on the inter- and intrastate regulation of the freight railroad industry. Over time, as the railroad industry deregulated, the focus of the association shifted to the essential utility systems of today.
“For 125 years, NARUC has brought state regulators all across the country together to share best practices and learn from each other. The utility sector has undergone tremendous change since 1889. We can use our smartphones as personal computers and communicate in new and innovative ways. We can produce solar energy from our rooftops. Our electricity system is cleaner and more reliable, and our water and gas pipelines are safer and more efficient. All the while, consumers know that they are paying fair, just, and reasonable rates for these essential services.
“NARUC brings all of us together — federal and state policymakers, consumer advocates, industry stakeholders, academics, environmental groups, and the list goes on. We understand how decisions in one state impact its neighbors, just as we understand how federal laws, court decisions, and regulations affect our important work at home. But make no mistake — we are all on the same stage. We may have different roles to play, but we all have the public interest in our sights.
“Serving as NARUC president this year is a tremendous honor. I am indebted to this organization. I’d like to recognize those who came before me, and those who will follow in voluntarily serving this association. The industries we regulate are changing almost on a daily basis, and I am excited for the future. I am heartened that no matter how much transformation the utility sector undergoes, there will always been a need for NARUC and its members to ensure that the people we serve — consumers — benefit most of all.”