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CONTACT: Leah Mohr, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201

Johnson elected chair of Public Utilities Commission

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioner Dusty Johnson became the youngest PUC chairman in the country this week. Johnson was elected chairman and Commissioner Gary Hanson was elected vice chairman at the commission's Nov. 20 meeting.

"This is an exciting time for South Dakota and the commission. We are seeing new proposals in wind power development and energy efficiency, new investment in our state's transmission system, and improvement in both the wireless telephone and broadband Internet networks," Johnson said. "The PUC is working hard to support and encourage these investments, while keeping the interests of South Dakota consumers our highest priority," he added.

"I have come to value Commissioner Johnson's perspective on many topics over the past two years," said Commissioner Gary Hanson. "He has contributed great ideas and will exhibit respectful leadership as he assumes the role of PUC chairman. I nominated Commissioner Johnson for chairman because I enjoy working with him and he has earned it," Hanson concluded.

Johnson was elected to the PUC in November 2004, becoming the youngest utility commissioner in the country. Johnson serves as chairman of the South Dakota Rural Development Council and is chairman of the transmission sub-committee of the Governor's Energy Task Force. He is also on the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' Electricity Committee.


Hanson has been a member of the PUC since 2003, and served as chair in 2005.  He is a board member of the National Wind Coordinating Committee and the Organization of MISO States. He served as mayor of Sioux Falls from 1994 until 2002.

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