JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Robert S. Kenney, Chairman of the Missouri Public Service Commission, announced today that he will step down from the Commission, effective August 7, 2015, following expiration of his six-year term.
Kenney was appointed to the Public Service Commission on July 29, 2009 by Governor Jay Nixon. He was unanimously confirmed by the Missouri Senate on January 10, 2010. He was named Chairman of the PSC by Governor Nixon on March 1, 2013.
“I want to thank Governor Nixon for the opportunity to serve on the Public Service Commission, first as a Commissioner and then as its Chairman. It has been an honor and a privilege,” said Kenney. “Since my appointment, we have worked proactively to enhance the quality of regulation at the Commission and I am especially proud of our efforts to increase consumer outreach and education. The business of providing utility services is undergoing a profound evolution. Challenges and opportunities associated with this evolution require an increased emphasis on consumer education and outreach. These challenges and opportunities also require continued examination of our regulatory processes and willingness to craft creative policy solutions to increasingly complex issues.”
Nixon praised Kenney’s work.
“During his public career with the PSC and with the Attorney General’s Office, Robert Kenney has always worked on behalf of the interests of the people of Missouri,” Gov. Nixon said. “He has led the PSC as it has strived to ensure a reliable energy supply at the lowest possible cost to consumers. Over the last six years, he has emerged as a nationally recognized leader in public utility regulation. I appreciate what Robert has accomplished for our state, and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Under Kenney’s leadership, the Commission created a Speakers Bureau, the annual Public Utility Law Symposium and a new position for a dedicated Consumer Outreach and Education Specialist. Additionally, Kenney was instrumental in leading the Commission’s response to impending EPA rules under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Power Plan.
“During my time on the Commission, we have faced unique challenges and many complex issues. I am proud of what we’ve done and what we continue to do every day for Missourians, balancing the interests of all who appear before us,” said Kenney.
Kenney was serving as the chief of staff for Attorney General Chris Koster when Gov. Nixon selected him for the Public Service Commission. He previously specialized in consumer protection cases as an assistant attorney general, and played a key role when the office of then-Attorney General Nixon brought the first legal actions against telemarketers who violated Missouri’s No-Call Law.
Before joining Attorney General Koster as his chief of staff, Kenney was a partner at the St. Louis law firm of Polsinelli Shalton Flanigan Suelthaus (now Polsinelli PC). His previous experience as an assistant attorney general also included cases in that office’s labor division. He also has worked as a substitute teacher in St. Louis and as a community organizer for the National Council on Alcoholism.
The Missouri Public Service Commission regulates investor-owned electric, steam, natural gas, water and sewer and telephone companies. Its mission is to ensure Missouri consumers have access to safe, reliable and reasonably priced utility service while allowing those utility companies under our jurisdiction an opportunity to earn a reasonable return on their investment. The PSC also regulates manufacturers and retail dealers who sell new and used manufactured homes and modular units. The commission was established in 1913. The PSC is comprised of five commissioners, who are appointed by the Governor.
Gov. Nixon will appoint a new commissioner and also will select the new chairman for the PSC.
Rachael Herndon was the editor at The Missouri Times and also produced This Week in Missouri Politics, published Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosted the #MoLeg podcast. She joined The Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.