Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Lori Cobos to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) for a term set to expire on September 1, 2021. The PUC regulates the state’s electric, water, wastewater, and telecommunications utility industries, implements respective legislation, and offers customer assistance in resolving consumer complaints.
“I am proud to appoint Lori Cobos to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and I know that she will draw upon her wealth of experience and knowledge to faithfully serve the people of Texas,” said Governor Abbott. “Throughout her career, Lori has gleaned valuable experience in the power and utility industries, and her most recent leadership role at OPUC makes her a perfect choice for the Public Utility Commission.”
Lori Cobos of Austin has served as the Chief Executive and Public Counsel for the Office of Public Utility Counsel (OPUC) since April 2019. Over the last two years, Cobos elevated OPUC’s presence in the public, legislature, and state government. Cobos led OPUC through unprecedented challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and Winter Storm Uri, which impacted consumers across the state and ensured the agency assisted consumers during these extraordinary times. Under her leadership, OPUC effectively represented consumers before the PUC, State Office of Administrative Hearings, state courts, and Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Through the litigation of electric and water utility cases at the PUC in the last two years, OPUC helped achieve over $1.3 Billion in utility bill savings for residential and small commercial consumers in Texas, which included an agency record of approximately $1.179 Billion in consumer utility bill savings in 2020.
Cobos has over 17 years of broad experience in the Texas electric power industry in both the public and private sectors. She served in several senior-level positions at the PUC, including serving as an advisor for two PUC Commissioners, assistant counsel to the PUC Executive Director, and senior policy analyst in the PUC’s policy development division, and served as in-house counsel at ERCOT. Prior to joining OPUC, Cobos was an attorney in private practice, where she specialized in representing and advising clients on legal, regulatory, public policy, legislative, and business development matters in the Texas electric power industry.
Cobos is a member of the State Bar of Texas and served as the chair of the Public Utility Law Section. She received a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Texas Tech University and was a member of the Texas Tech Law Review. She received a Master of Arts in Public Administration and Bachelor of Business Administration in General Business, with Magna Cum Laude honors, from Sul Ross State University. Cobos served on the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation Board of Directors as a gubernatorial appointee of Governor Abbott and served on the Sul Ross State University Alumni Board.