From the Missoula Current:

Travis Kavulla will leave the Montana Public Service Commission when his term expires at the end of December and take a position at a Washington, D.C., public policy organization.

Kavulla, of Great Falls, has been named director of energy and environmental policy at R Street Institute, a Washington-based free market think tank.

The organization researches and takes public policy stands on a variety of topics, generally favoring a free-market approach to issues. R Street’s website says the institute generally tackles complex issues that other organizations might tend to avoid.

Kavulla says his job will entail helping conservative thinkers understand the details of energy regulation. He looks forward to his new position and thinks he will find it interesting.

“The bad part is we will have to leave Montana,” he said. “But I imagine we will be back.”

Kavulla is leaving the PSC, where he represented District 1, northeast Montana, when he completes his second four-year term. Term limits barred him from seeking a third term.

A Great Falls native, Kavulla graduated from Harvard University and got his master’s degree from Cambridge University.

He was elected to the PSC in 2010, and on his first day in office he created a stir by refusing to support fellow Republican Brad Molnar, who was scheduled to be elected chairman of the five-member commission. Molnar had been accused of various ethical violations by Kavulla’s predecessor, Democrat Greg Jergeson of Chinook.

Kavulla later aligned himself with the commission’s two Democrats to be elected commission chair. His chairmanship ended when the GOP took full control of the commission.

Randy Pinocci was elected Tuesday to replace Kavulla.

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