Ige names new member to state Public Utilities Commission

Ige names new member to state Public Utilities Commission

HONOLULU (AP) - Gov. David Ige is appointing a new member to the commission that's expected to rule on Florida energy company NextEra's proposed purchase of Hawaiian Electric Industries.

Ige is naming Thomas Gorak to the state Public Utilities Commission. Gorak is now the commission's top legal adviser, a job he's had since 2013.

Ige told reporters Wednesday he wanted a nominee who could hit the ground running. He says his nominee also had to support the state's goal of having utilities obtain 100 percent of their power from renewable resources.

Gorak will serve on an interim basis until the state Senate votes on his appointment.

Gorak replaces Michael Champley, whose term is expiring.

The commission is deciding whether NextEra's purchase of Hawaiian Electric would be in the public's best interest and other issues.

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