FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Gail Gutsche 406.360.9932 February 21, 2012
Missoula– Current Public Service Commissioner Gail Gutsche (D-Missoula) has filed for
re-election to the Public Service Commission (PSC), District 4. Gutsche, who serves as Vice Chair of the 5-member Commission, is finishing her first four-year term on the Commission.
Gutsche cited the Commission vote last week as a key reason for running. The Commission voted 3-2 to pre-approve the 40 MW Spion Kop wind farm, inJudithBasinCounty. “Time and again, Montanans have demonstrated that they want to develop our renewable energy resources. I was proud to join a bi-partisan majority in authorizing NorthWestern Energy to own this asset,” says Gutsche. “This is a huge step forward for Montanans, who will benefit from the addition of clean, renewable energy at a lower cost than electricity produced by Colstrip.”
During her tenure as Commissioner, Gutsche has prioritized energy conservation and renewable energy development, as sustainable strategies towards energy independence. She has also worked to ensure that taxis charge reasonable fees, and to protect low-income members of our community. Gutsche was recently elected vice chair of the Northern Tier Transmission Group Steering Committee, and is actively involved with the Energy Resources and Environment Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners.
Gutsche has been endorsed by Missoula Mayor John Engen, Commissioner John Vincent (D-Bozeman), former Public Service Commissioner Ken Toole (D-Helena), the Montana Conservation Voters, and numerous Missoula legislators including Senators Cliff Larsen, Dave Wanzenried and Carol Williams.
“Thanks to the courageous leadership and thorough work of Commissioner Gutsche, our community is a giant step closer to owning its own water system,” says Mayor John Engen. “Now, more than ever, we need intelligent, tough, hard-working folks on the Montana Public Service Commission; Gail Gutsche is that person.”
In addition to her term on thePSC, Gutsche, 57, served four terms in the Montana House of Representatives (1999-2005). She was elected Democratic Whip (2005); sat on the Judiciary and Fish, Wildlife and Parks committees; and served as vice chair of the Natural Resources Committee (2001, 2003). She sponsored numerous successful bills to protectMontana’s quality of life, clean air and water, and wildlife habitat.
PSCDistrict 4 spans seven counties: Granite, Powell, Ravalli, Sanders, Mineral,LincolnandMissoula. The five-memberPSCregulates utilities including electricity, gas, water, and telephone, as well as taxi, limousine and solid waste hauling permits.
Gutsche is a 20-year resident, former business owner, and homeowner inMissoula. A graduate ofGustavusAdolphusCollegeinSt. Peter,Minn., she has lengthy experience as a journalist, editor, grant writer and development director, and has served on numerous non-profit boards.