Senate panel endorses FERC nominee Spitzer

The Senate Energy Committee has endorsed President Bush’s nomination of Arizona state regulator Marc Spitzer to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The nomination was sent July 12 to the full Senate, which also is to consider confirmation of FERC nominees Philip Moeller of Washington State and Jon Wellinghoff of Nevada, which the committee previously endorsed.

Spitzer, a Republican, appeared before the committee for a confirmation hearing June 28. He said he would bring a balanced perspective to FERC, based on his education, geographical background, and professional experience. Spitzer was elected to the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2000. He previously served as an Arizona state senator and was a tax attorney with KPMG Peat Marwick.

If confirmed, he would succeed Commissioner Nora Mead Brownell, also a Republican, for a term expiring June 30, 2011. Brownell’s term expired June 30, but she said she would continue to work at FERC until the first week of August to allow nominees time to complete the confirmation process.

The committee voted June 21 to send the nominations of Moeller and Wellinghoff to the full Senate. Moeller, a Republican, is director of the Washington, D.C., office of Alliant Energy Corp., a Wisconsin-based utility. Wellinghoff, an independent, is partner in Beckley Singleton of Nevada, specializing in energy and consumer law.

If confirmed, Moeller would serve a term expiring June 30, 2010, while Wellinghoff would serve a term expiring June 30, 2008.

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