Kelly renominated to FERC

President Obama has renominated New Mexico Democrat Suedeen Kelly for a new five-year term on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in a move to establish a Democratic majority on the rate-making agency.

Obama nominated Iowa Democrat John R. Norris to FERC on June 11, 2009, to fill a seat vacated by the resignation of former Chairman Joseph Kelliher, a Republican.

In March, Obama designated Commissioner Jon Wellinghoff, a Nevada independent turned Democrat, to be commission chairman, succeeding Kelliher.

Kelly’s renomination would give Democrats three seats on the five-member commission. If approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Kelly’s term would expire June 30, 2014.

The Republicans on the panel are Philip Moeller of Washington and Marc Spitzer of Arizona.

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Aug. 6, 2009, will consider the nomination of Norris to the commission.

Norris is a 1995 graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law, after receiving an undergraduate degree from Simpson College in Iowa. He served as chief of staff to Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa, from 1997-1998, and from 1989-2003 owned a restaurant in Iowa.

Norris was co-chairman of the National Electricity Delivery Forum of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, president of the Organization of Midwest Independent System Operator States, and held other regulatory agency memberships and positions.

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