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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 19, 2007           
CONTACT: Leah Mohr, communications manager, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201,

Hanson selected as new chair of Public Utilities Commission

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioner Gary Hanson was elected by his fellow commissioners to lead the three-member PUC as chairman. Commissioner Dusty Johnson was elected vice chairman. The elections took place at the commission's Dec. 18 meeting.

This is the second stint as chairman for Hanson. He also served in that capacity in 2005.
"I greatly appreciate this opportunity. I intend to carry out my duties as chairman with respect and dedication," Hanson commented. "My guiding philosophy has been to carefully consider how my actions and decisions as a member of the Public Utilities Commission will impact South Dakotans and the state we all call home."

Hanson was elected to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission in November 2002. He serves on the steering committee of the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative as well as the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment. Prior to joining the PUC, he was twice elected as mayor of Sioux Falls and twice elected as utilities commissioner of Sioux Falls. Hanson also served three terms as a South Dakota state senator.

Commissioner Dusty Johnson nominated Hanson for the chairmanship. "Commissioner Hanson will again be a fine leader of this commission," Johnson said. "He knows how to analyze complex issues and make good decisions that are in the public's best interest. The commission will do well under his leadership," Johnson concluded.

Commissioner Steve Kolbeck — who is entering his second year on the commission — said: "I admire the experience and wisdom Commission Hanson brings to the PUC. I'm looking forward to continuing to learn from him."

Johnson was elected to the PUC in 2004 and was the previous chairman. He is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' Electricity Committee and past chairman of the South Dakota Rural Development Council.