PUC Commissioner Mack Redford Dies; Idaho Power PURPA Deliberations Continue 

click to enlarge Mack Redford died June 30, 2015.
  • Mack Redford died June 30, 2015.
State officials announced July 1 that Idaho Public Utilities Commissioner Mack Redford had died in the evening hours of June 30. Redford's passing comes as the PUC commissioners face a much-anticipated vote on Idaho Power's desire to restrict 20-year PURPA contracts from renewable energy providers down to two years, as covered in the current edition of Boise Weekly.

Redford had been absent at the recent public hearing and this week's technical hearings regarding the Idaho Power proposal, which have attracted precedent-setting interest. Fellow PUC Commissioner Paul Kjellander had informed the public during the hearings that Redford would not be present and would be reading the transcripts from the proceedings.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, who appointed Redford to the commission in 2007, said, "Mack was the true embodiment of what it means to be a public servant."

Redford, a Caldwell High School graduate, earned his law degree from the University of Idaho and later served as a deputy in the Idaho attorney general's office. He spent several years working abroad as legal counsel for large construction firms, including Morrison Knudsen and the Channel Tunnel Contractors, which built the so-called "Chunnel" between England and France. Redford was legal counsel for Micron Construction and later practiced law with Boise-based Elam & Burke. He was a husband and the father of two children.

Following news of Redford's passing, PUC Public Information Officer Gene Fadness told Boise Weekly that the PURPA decision-making process would move forward as scheduled. 

"Idaho Code 61-211 allows two commissioners to proceed as a majority," said Fadness. "They will continue until they come to a conclusion," adding that it was "an unlikely scenario" for the commissioners to be deadlocked on the issue.

Kjellander told parties in the Idaho Power PURPA case that a decision could come as early as the end of July.

Meanwhile, Otter is expected to announce a new commissioner in the next several weeks.

"And that new commissioner would not be involved in the Idaho Power case anyway," said Fadness.
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