Opinion: Tranel will serve as a valuable asset on the Montana PSC

Many politicians are boring—and often annoying. I wouldn’t want to be one!

However, there is a highly qualified candidate for the Montana Public Service Commission who’s neither boring nor annoying whose name is Monica Tranel.

The PSC sets the rates and enforces the service quality provided by investor-owned monopoly utilities—electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, transportation and “legacy” telecom companies. The PSC is required to balance the interests of ratepayers (understandably concerned about utility-bill increases) with the public’s need to maintain financially sound utilities capable of delivering reliable service.

Like me, Monica grew up on a Montana cattle ranch, so I can attest that Monica’s work ethic is strong. She is honest and whip smart. We met 20 years ago, through the women’s ice hockey program in Missoula. In grade school in Philipsburg, I acquired minimal ice skills. In Monica I saw the strength and dedication it takes to deliver results. In two Summer Olympics, she represented Team USA as a rower, demonstrating determination to succeed.

Unlike her opponent, Monica Tranel has 20 years of work experience that’s truly relevant to the job she seeks—as legal counsel to U.S. Senator Conrad Burns, as a PSC staff attorney, as attorney on the Montana Consumer Counsel and as a private attorney arguing cases in front of the PSC and the courts.

Monica also comes from a Republican family background. She chose to run as a Democrat because both parties have evolved since we were growing up. I believe she would be a valuable asset for the PSC and an excellent choice for the Montana that I dearly love, no matter one’s political leanings.