Women of Influence: Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh

Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh
Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh

In the next installment of Alabama Women of Influence is Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC) President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh.

A graduate of Auburn University, Cavanaugh was first elected to the PSC in November 2010; she won re-election in 2012 and 2014.

Talk about a woman who has constantly stood up for Alabama and its families and small businesses!

“I am committed to doing what’s best for the hard-working taxpayers in this state,” Cavanaugh said on Facebook in July – and that couldn’t be more true. Committing herself to the fights within Washington, D.C., and at home in Alabama, she’s done everything from help push President George W. Bush‘s tax cuts through Congress to help cities and towns across the Yellowhammer state stop tax increases and fought for tougher tort reform laws.

Suffice to say, Twinkle has a great resume — one a lot of us can only dream of — Republican National Committee, Alabaman Republican PartyCitizens for a Sound Economy, Gov. Riley’s cabinet as senior adviser.

As the first female Chair of the Alabama Republican Party, she led the way to building a strong and inclusive state party. She also hasn’t shied away from encouraging other women to pursue their goals as well.

According to AL.Com in 2003, she spoke to a group of Huntsville business leaders sharing her five tidbits of success, “Build relationships, have goals, think outside the box, face adversity positively and make a difference”, said Cavanaugh to a gathering of about 40 women.

As the president of the PSC she has been a strong advocate against the EPA’s over-reaching regulations, which would kill Alabama’s coal industry and raise utility prices.

She supports an “all of the above” energy portfolio. In early September, she and the commission passed regulations that allowed an Alabama Power renewable energy project to secure up to 500 megawatts of renewable generation over the next six years. A project lauded by people on both sides of the political aisle. An Alabama News story quoted that using solar power the project will “serve up to 100,000 homes during an hour of peak sun intensity on cloudless days.”

Cavanaugh is also doing what she can to help tackle the state’s ongoing budget crisis.

Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, the Alabama Senate’s General Fund budget chairman, said that since 2010 the PSC “has done a lot of significant restructuring that saves taxpayers millions of dollars of costs and expenses.”

Cavanuagh intends to reduce costs even more this year. By cutting back wherever possible at the PSC, she will be sending a record amount to the state’s destitute General Fund next year — $12.5 million.

“I think we’ve right-sized our commission,” Cavanaugh told AL.com.

She and her husband have three children. They are active members of First Baptist Church in Montgomery, and they are involved in numerous community organizations. It is without a doubt we can say Cavanaugh has been a tremendous asset for the state of Alabama and as a trailblazer for generations of women to follow.


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