Published: Aug 19, 2010 3:27 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 19, 2010 12:27 PM EDT

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Public Service Commission Nominating Council is meeting in Orlando to interview applicants for two openings on the utility regulating panel.

The nominating council will interview 18 applicants Thursday. The panel will recommend at least six finalists to Gov. Charlie Crist for appointment to the five-member commission.

Some of the applicants interviewed for two other vacancies earlier this year after the Senate refused to confirm Crist's picks. The governor and the Republican-led Senate have been in a tug-of-war on most issues since Crist ditched the party in April to continue his bid for a U.S. Senate seat without party affiliation.

The PSC is responsible for regulating the rates, services and safety of privately owned public utilities.