About Travis Kavulla, Commissioner
Travis Kavulla represents the Montana Public Service Commissionís geographically largest district. In November 2010, he was elected by a 28-point margin, the largest of anyone facing an election contested by both major parties since the modern commissionís inception in 1974. He was re-elected in 2014 in an uncontested race to a term concluding in 2018.
In addition to his role on the Commission, Mr. Kavulla is co-chairman of the Committee on Regional Electric Power Cooperation (CREPC), which leads West-wide discussions on energy policy, wholesale electric markets, and the reliability of the grid. He also serves as the co-chairman for the Northern Tier Transmission Group (NTTG) Steering Committee, which conducts regional transmission planning and cost allocation and whose footprint covers much of the intermountain region and the Pacific Northwest.
Mr. Kavulla was President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) in 2015-2016, and continues to serve on the associationís Board of Directors and Executive Committee. He also represent states on the Advisory Council of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the FCC Joint Board on Jurisdictional Separations.
As a commissioner, Mr. Kavulla has made decisions on hundreds of matters and worked on several major initiatives, including the review of utility rates for several electric, natural gas, and water utilities; the calculation of power purchase rates and the design of a wind integration rate for renewable projects for Montanaís largest utility; the governance model and by-laws for the California ISOís regional real-time energy market, the Energy Imbalance Market (EIM); the elimination of entry barriers for passenger motor carriers in Montana; the introduction of performance incentives to a utilityís procurement and energy-supply function; and major legislation relating to energy and transportation policy reforms in the State of Montana.
He has also testified before FERC on the reform of the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) and before Congressional committees on the clean air regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Prior to his election to the Public Service Commission, Mr. Kavulla worked as a journalist, writing on political economy, culture, and development. His by-line has appeared in publications as diverse as the Wall Street Journal, Catholic World Report, the Dallas Morning News, and the Journal of Eastern African Studies, among many others. Mr. Kavulla has also served as associate editor for National Review, the biweekly magazine founded by William F. Buckley, Jr., and has worked as a professional editor of media ranging from blogs to books. Mr. Kavulla has received a number of honors, including being awarded a year-long, full-time writing fellowship in 2008 from the Phillips Foundation.
Mr. Kavulla received his bachelorís in History at Harvard University, and holds a graduate degree from the University of Cambridge, England, where he was a Gates Scholar. Mr. Kavulla is a fourth-generation Montanan.
- "There is No Free Market for Electricity: Can There Ever Be?" American Affairs (Summer 2017)
- "Utility Regulation, Old and New" Power Magazine (Dec. 2016)
- D2016.2.15: Mountain Water Rate Case - Concurring
- D2013.5.33: NWE 2013 Tracker - Concurring
- D2016.5.39: NWE Emergency Order 7500- Dissenting
- How Utilities Team Up With Greens Against Consumers
- FERC PURPA Technical Conference Testimony
- A Review of EPAís Regulatory Activity During the Obama Administration: Energy and Industrial Sectors
- Inaugural Remarks to NARUCís 127th Annual Meeting
- Acquisition of PPL Hydroelectric Dams -- NorthWestern Energy -- Dissenting
- Discrimination Against Independent Developers -- NorthWestern Energy
- Testimony before House Power & Energy Subcommittee on EPA Carbon Rules
- Avoided Cost Ratemaking -- NorthWestern Energy -- Concurring Opinion -- D2012.1.3
- Colstrip 4 Outage Costs -- NorthWestern Energy -- Dissenting Opinion -- D2013.5.33
- Denying Interim Recovery of Dave Gates Generating Station Outage Costs -- NorthWestern Energy --Concurring Opinion -- D2012.5.49
- Discrimination Against Small Developers -- NorthWestern Energy -- Dissenting Opinion -- D2012.1.3
- Havre Pipeline Company Sale & Transfer -- Concurring Opinion -- D2013.7.57
- iSmart Mobile ETC Certification -- Concurring Opinion -- D2010.10.99
- Motor Carrier Regulation -- Billings Yellow Cab -- Concurring Opinion - T-12.2.PCN
- Mountain Water Return on Equity -- Dissenting Opinion -- D2012.7.81
- Operations of Basin Creek Generating Station -- NorthWestern Energy -- Concurring Opinion -- D2012.5.49
- Petition for Waiver of CREP Requirement -- NorthWestern Energy -- Concurring Opinion -- D2011.6.53
- Settlement of General Rate Case -- Montana-Dakota Utilities -- Dissenting Opinion -- D2012.9.100
- Settlement of General Rate Case -- NorthWestern Energy -- Dissenting Opinion -- D2012.9.94
- Wind Curtailment Petition -- NorthWestern Energy -- Concurring Opinion -- D2011.7.57
- Wind Integration & Capacity Costs, Presented at Rutgers' Center for Research in Regulated Industries, 2013
- Commissioner Kavulla addresses concerns of the Montanta legislature about transmission cost allocation. 2/4/11
- Commissioner Kavulla talks about his background, EPA rules, energy efficiency, wind development, and transmission planning. 3/24/11
- Commissioner Kavulla's op-ed about taxpayer-subsidized electricity sales by Electric City Power, the municipal power company of the City of Great Falls, Great Falls Tribune. 6/27/11
- Commissioner Kavulla addresses the Montana Legislature's interim committee on energy and telecommunications, July 15, 2011 (PSC part is between 1:50 to 2:44)
- Interim Committee Materials: Transmission Expansion in Montana and the West
- Commissioner Kavulla's op-ed addressing rural phone and internet service, and the FCC's reform of the Universal Service Fund and intercarrier compensation. 10/21/11