AUGUSTA (AP) – Gov. John Baldacci’s first nominee to the Maine Public Utilities Commission won a unanimous endorsement Thursday from the legislative panel reviewing his choice.

The 9-0 vote in favor of Sharon Reishus by the Committee on Utilities and Energy makes confirmation highly likely in the Senate, where a two-thirds majority would be required to overturn the committee’s recommendation.

Reishus, who worked on the PUC staff for most of a decade before joining a consulting firm in Cambridge, Mass., would replace William Nugent on the three-member regulatory board and be given a six-year term.

Answering committee questions prior to the panel’s vote, Reishus said she had not focused on Maine utility issues in the five years since she left the commission but was eager to assume a decision-making role and was prepared to be “independent and fair-minded.”

In other action, the Natural Resources Committee voted 12-1 to support Matthew Scott of Belgrade for a place on the Board of Environmental Protection.

A second BEP nominee, Andrew Cadot of Freeport, was withdrawn.

AP-ES-05-22-03 1708EDT

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