Jackson is a chemical engineer who has served as a PUC commissioner since August 2022.
Public Utility Commissioner Kathleen Jackson has been selected to become the agency’s interim chair, following the resignation this month of Peter Lake.
Lake, who replaced former PUC chair DeAnn Walker as chair in 2021, stepped down on June 2. He vacated the chair immediately, but announced that he will remain at the PUC serving as a commissioner until the beginning of next month.
Jackson is a chemical engineer who has served as a PUC commissioner since August 2022. Prior to the PUC, Jackson served as a member of the Texas Water Development Board from 2014-2022. Jackson will serve as interim PUC chair until Gov. Greg Abbott decides upon a permanent replacement.
Gov. Abbott appointed Lake to the PUC in the aftermath of Winter Storm Uri, which caused widespread outages in 2021 and hundreds of deaths. Lake then became a leading advocate for an ERCOT market reform called the Performance Credit Mechanism (“PCM”), which the agency authorized in January. The Texas Legislature, however, was less enthusiastic. Several leading lawmakers harshly criticized the PCM during the recently concluded legislative session, and the Legislature also passed a law mandating cost caps for the PCM.
Lake, in a statement he provided to The Texas Tribune following his resignation, said he had inherited a vulnerable power grid but was now confident in its operations. “Thanks to the hard work of the teams here and at ERCOT [the Electric Reliability Council of Texas], and my fellow commissioners, today, our grid is more reliable than ever,” he said. The Tribune noted that that statement stood in contrast to one he issued just a few weeks earlier in which he warned of possible outages this summer.
Jackson, for her part, issued a written statement thanking the governor for the interim appointment. “I look forward to working closely with my fellow Commissioners to ensure Texas consumers have reliable and affordable power in our fast-growing state,” she said.