PUC Chairwoman Fiegen Visits with Redfield High School Seniors
Kristie Fiegen, Chairwoman of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), spoke with Redfield’s American Government classrooms on Thursday, April 5th. Kristie believes it is important for our youth to become involved. “Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders. My goal is to inspire them to become involved in their communities and become involved in policy making decisions at the local, state, and national levels,” explained Fiegen. “We need strong leaders in South Dakota who will carry the torch to keep South Dakota a great place to raise a family.”
Fiegen highlighted the responsibilities of the PUC that include ensuring safe, reliable and high-quality utility services like telephone, electricity and natural gas. Chairwoman Fiegen explained her passion for advocating for the expansion of high speed Internet and better cell phone coverage in South Dakota. “I advocate every week for the expansion of broadband and cell service coverage, although the PUC has very limited authority over these industries,” stated Fiegen. “I am grateful that our rural telephone cooperatives are investing millions of dollars in South Dakota to bring broadband to rural families.”
“The Redfield Senior Class was delightful,” explained Fiegen. “They had thought provoking questions, interest in how government worked, and are enthused to become involved in the future. I enjoyed meeting Redfield seniors like Rylie Gall and Drew Rozell who have a bright future in becoming future leaders.”
Fiegen also cautioned the students regarding the use of social media. “Future employers will review your social media posts, so be careful,” said Fiegen. “When using social media, ask yourself the question if the post is appropriate for your minister, grandmother, or future employer to read. Would you be embarrassed if it was on the front page of the newspaper?”
About Kristie Fiegen:
Kristie Fiegen has been a commissioner since 2011 and currently serves as the chairperson of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. She is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' Committee on Gas and Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety. Kristie provides guidance related to the interests of the public and gas consumers to the Gas Technology Institute as a member of GTI's Public Interest Advisory Committee. She is also vice president of the Southwest Power Pool’s Regional State Committee, which recommends cost allocation policies to determine the amount customers pay for the cost to build and operate transmission lines that cross 14 states in the SPP region.
Kristie's public service career includes four terms in the South Dakota House of Representatives, from 1993 to 2001. While a legislator, she served as chairperson of the House Health and Human Services Committee.
Kristie earned a bachelor's degree in commercial economics and agricultural business from South Dakota State University and a master's degree in business administration from the University of South Dakota. She grew up on her family's farm near Chancellor, S.D., and is a graduate of Parker High School. Kristie and her husband, Tim, live in the Sioux Falls area with their sons, Alexander and Jackson.
About the PUC:
The PUC commission regulates investor-owned electric, natural gas and telephone utilities. The PUC ensures utility companies in South Dakota provide safe and reliable service and that investor-owned companies do so with just and reasonable rates. It plays a more limited regulatory role with respect to telecommunications companies and cooperative, independent and municipal utilities.