Energy & Environment

Offshore drilling regulator tapped to lead solar group

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Abigail Ross Hopper, the nation’s top regulator for offshore oil and natural gas drilling, has been tapped to lead the solar energy industry’s lobbying group.

The board of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) announced the pick on Monday after a monthslong search. SEIA’s former president, Rhone Resch, resigned last April. 

Hopper will take the reins at SEIA next week, days before she is due to step down as director of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) due to President-elect Donald Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration.

{mosads}“Abby possesses the leadership skills, experience and infectious enthusiasm needed to help drive solar’s rapid but sustainable growth trajectory,” Nat Kreamer, chairman of SEIA’s board and president of solar financing company Spruce, said in a statement.

“Her unique experience and bridge-building talents are an asset for the entire industry and will aid in strong solar success for years to come,” he said.

Before she was hired as BOEM’s director in 2014, Hopper led the Maryland Energy Administration, and previously worked at the Maryland Public Service Commission.

SEIA said Hopper’s experience with energy markets and state policy will be especially useful to the industry in upcoming state-level battles.

Hopper said in the statement that she is “thrilled” to lead SEIA.

“I have spent my career working with all sides of the political and ideological spectrum to arrive at pragmatic approaches to energy policy,” she said. “I look forward to utilizing that experience to serve our SEIA members.”

Tom Kimbis, who served as interim SEIA president during the search, will become its executive vice president and general counsel.

Tags Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Donald Trump Solar Energy Industries Association Solar power

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