Thursday, September 29, 2011

Joshua Epel, Chair of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, Speaks to Denver Law Students: Explains the Work of the PUC

Joshua Epel, Chair of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC), spoke recently to a standing room only crowd of Denver Law students about the work of the PUC as well as the importance of integrity as a defining element of professionalism.

Chairman Epel noted the broad range of firms the PUC regulates, including intrastate telecommunications services, investor-owned electric, gas, and water utilities. The PUC also has partial regulatory control over municipal and electric associations. In addition, he talked about specific topics such as how the PUC conducts business, the roles of the various parties in a regulatory hearing, the relationship between state and federal regulators, and challenges in determining what is in "the public interest."

His remarks also touched on the need for legal professionals to carry out their responsibilities in a manner characterized by civility and integrity.

Don C. Smith, director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law (ENRL) Program, said, "It was a great honor for Denver Law to host Chairman Epel. In many respects, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission is involved in cutting-edge issues, and thus we were able to benefit from the Chairman's observations about the utilities sector as well as the work of PUC. It was an additional benefit to hear Chairman Epel's observations about the need for professionalism as part of a practitioner's overall identity. We are delighted he was able to join us."

Chairman Epel's remarks were part of the ENRL Speaker Series, a regular gathering at Denver Law featuring professionals working in the environmental and natural resources fields.

Editor's note: Left to right in the picture, Professor K.K. DuVivier, PUC Chair Joshua Epel, 2L student Jeff Breidenbach, ENRL Director Don Smith, 1L student Laurie Strong.

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