By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Public Service Commissioner Jeremy Oden (R) has been appointed to a new transportation task force created by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).
Commissioner Oden said, “Emerging technologies and changes in how people and goods are transported in our modern economy have prompted a renewed interest in transportation issues and demonstrated a need to modernize transportation regulations. My goal will be to develop guidelines that will ensure a safe and efficient transportation system without creating burdensome regulations that will negatively impact the private sector. If done properly, we have a chance to modernize transportation regulations in a way that will keep the public safe and lead to greater economic growth.”
The Task Force on Transportation was created in response to a renewed interest in transportation regulation, specifically in the rail and motor passenger services industries. The task force has been asked to propose resolutions to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and outline the approaches states can take in response to emerging issues in the rail and motor passenger services industries. To better represent its two primary transportation areas, the task force includes a Working Group on Motor Carriers and a Working Group on Railroad Safety. The task Force Co-Chairs are Commissioners Gladys Brown of Pennsylvania and Ann Rendahl of Washington, respectively.
NARUC President Travis Kavulla of Montana said in a statement, “New business models in passenger carriage and a number of prominent rail accidents have brought renewed prominence to issues that have not had a lot of visibility for a generation. Many State commissions are asking questions about how best to regulate these industries, and while there is no single answer, this task force will provide practical assistance to support States’ efforts as they gather resources and information to better serve in the public interest. Both Commissioner Brown and Commissioner Rendahl have extensive transportation experience and we are fortunate to have them lead this task force.”
The task force will convene its first meeting at NARUC’s Winter Committee Meetings February 14-17, in Washington, DC It will also conduct outreach to related organizations that oversee the regulation of transportation industries which are jurisdictional to states.
Founded in 1889, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners is a non-profit organization dedicated to representing the state public service commissions that regulate the utilities which provide essential services such as energy, telecommunications, water, and transportation.
Jeremy Oden served four terms in the Alabama House of Representatives before he was appointed to serve as the representative for Place 1 on the Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC) by Governor Robert Bentley in December 2012 after Commissioner Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh won the presidency of the PSC in the 2012 election. In 2014, Commissioner Oden was elected statewide to serve a full 4 year term. In addition to the transportation task force, Commissioner Oden also serves on the Eastern Interconnection States’ Planning Council (EISPC), the Nuclear Waste Strategy Coalition (NWSC) and the Electricity Committee of NARUC.