Valerie McMurtry

Put the PUBLIC back in the Public Service Commission


I am running for the Public Service Commission, District 2 because the current commissioners have failed the voters of Montana.   They have not protected the ratepayers form unfair rate increases. 
We pay among the highest electrical rates in the West.  That is not right!  I will stand up for you.  I will put the ‘Public’ back in the PSC.

Endorsed by:

Governor Steve Bullock

Carol’s List, Supporting progressive women candidates

AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations)

MFPE (Montana Federation of Public Employees)

Montana Conservation Voters

Montana State Legislative Board for the SMART-Transportation Union

Linda McCulloch, former Secretary of State & Superintendent of Public Instruction

Mary McNally, State Senator and member of Energy Committee

Margie McDonald, State Legislator

Gary Buchanan, Owner Buchanan Capitol

Norma Buchanan, Philanthropist

Kathy Kelker, State Legislator

Dr Kathy Masis M.D.

Jim Elliott, Former State Legislator

James Corson

Shirley Hanson

Vern Bass

Barbara Archer & Tom Tully

Paula Murray, Social Worker

Faye Loe, Educator

Virginia Court, former legislator

Barbara & Ed Gulick

LaVerne Frank, Radiology Technician

Dan & Penny Struckman

Darryl & Susan Gehring

Kathleen & Albert Wise

Doug Ezell, Physician

Sharon Christensen, Nurse

Joseph Sample

Paula Schilke

Jean Lemire Dahlman, Farmer & National Democratic Committeewoman

Karen Moses, BPS Educator

Barb Leininger, BPS Educator
Cathy Bower

Lisa Larr

Jim & Lillian Hartung

Deborah Hanson

Barbara Gunn, Medical Social Worker

Edward Barta, Educator

Theresa Helus, Educator

Liz Barnea, Educator

Mark Mackin, Attorney

Kathie & Steve Shandera

Dian Chadwick, Hairdresser

Anne Harris, Social Worker

Peggy Gaghen

Corby Skinner, Public Relations

Lucinda Husby, Physician

Robert Hauptman, Physician Assistant

Tanya Hauptman, Human Resource Director

Montana 55+

Bob Bergren , former Speaker of the House
Timothy M. Hauptman Rental car agent
Rae Peppers , HD 41
Janine Pease, American Indian Educator


Over the next weeks, I’m going to post one question each week about the PSC for 8 weeks.  If you have questions about the PSC, email me your questions at

What is the PSC?

The Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) is a regulatory agency that strives to ensure that ratepayers have continued access to utility services that are affordable, reliable, and sustainable for the long-term. 

Who serves on the PSC?

The PSC consists of 5 elected commissioners from 5 districts.  They are elected to a 4 year term; they are able to serve 8 years maximum.  Every 2 years there is an election for either 2 or 3 commissioners.

How long has there been a PSC?

The original PSC was established in 1907. It expanded from the railroad commission to include utilities for the purpose of representing and protecting ratepayers from control by Montana Power & others. It began as 3 person open to, in 1974, 5 person with assigned districts.

What is meant by pre-approval?

Pre-approval is the process in which a utility asks the state regulatory body for assurance that the utility’s costs will be covered by ratepayers before the utility acquires an energy resource.  (Like the 12.5% NWE wants to buy for $.50). The ratepayer assumes all the risk attached to an acquisition & not the shareholders.
It is my understanding that NWE is the only Montana utility that has this advantage.