FERC inaugurates Commissioners Moeller, Spitzer, Wellinghoff

The last of President Bush’s three new appointments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was inaugurated July 31, bringing FERC to its full complement for the first time since 2003. The Senate confirmed the nominations of Philip Moeller, Marc Spitzer, and Jon Wellinghoff on July 14.

The three nominees were sworn in separately: Wellinghoff on July 31, Moeller on July 24, and Spitzer on July 21,

Wellinghoff, an independent from Nevada, was a partner in the law firm of Beckley Singleton of Nevada, specializing in energy and consumer law. Moeller, a Republican from Washington State, directed the Washington, D.C., office of Alliant Energy Corp. Spitzer, a Republican from Arizona and an attorney specializing in tax law, served on the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Moeller’s term expires June 30, 2010. His FERC seat has been vacant since the term of former Chairman Pat Wood, a Republican, expired in 2005. Wellinghoff’s term expires June 30, 2008. His seat has been vacant since the term of former Commissioner William Massey, a Democrat, expired in 2003. Their nominations were endorsed by the Senate Energy Committee and sent to full Senate June 21.

Spitzer, who was endorsed by committee and referred to the Senate July 12, succeeds Commissioner Nora Mead Brownell, a Republican, for a term expiring June 30, 2011. Although Brownell’s term expired June 30, she continued to work at FERC until Spitzer was seated.

FERC has five commissioners appointed by the president, with no more than three of the same political party. Chairman Joseph Kelliher is a Republican, while Commissioner Suedeen Kelly is the panel’s sole Democrat. Kelliher’s term expires June 30, 2007; Kelly’s expires June 30, 2009.

The commission does not meet in August; its next monthly meeting is Sept. 21.

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