Bush names Moeller, Wellinghoff to FERC

President Bush nominated Philip D. Moeller of Washington and Jon Wellinghoff of Nevada on March 7 to fill vacancies on the five-member Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The nominations must be confirmed by the Senate.

Moeller, a Republican, would serve the remainder of a five-year term expiring June 30, 2010. That seat has not been filled since the term of Chairman Pat Wood, a Republican, expired in 2005. Moeller is executive director of the Washington office of Alliant Energy Corp. and previously served as director of federal relations at Calpine Corp. and as senior legislative assistant for electricity policy for former Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash. Moeller is a Stanford University graduate.

Wellinghoff, a registered independent, would complete a five-year term expiring June 30, 2008. That seat has not been filled since the term of Commissioner William Massey, a Democrat, expired in 2003. Wellinghoff is a partner in the law firm Beckley Singleton, specializing in energy and consumer law. He previously was managing principal and regulatory attorney for Efficient Energy Systems Inc. and staff counsel for the Nevada Public Utilities Commission. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., recommended Wellinghoff, who holds degrees from the University of Nevada, Howard University, and Antioch Law School.

FERC party line-up: three GOP, one Democrat, one independent

FERC is composed of five commissioners appointed by the president with the consent of the Senate. Commissioners serve five-year terms. No more than three commissioners may belong to the same political party. The president designates one member to serve as chairman and FERC’s administrative leader.

Currently, two of FERC’s three members are Republicans. They are Chairman Joseph Kelliher and Commissioner Nora Mead Brownell. Commissioner Suedeen Kelly is the lone Democrat. Brownell’s term expires June 30, 2006, and Kelliher’s term expires June 30, 2007. Kelly’s term expires June 30, 2009.

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