U.S. President Biden plans to nominate Willie L. Phillips, Jr. as FERC commissioner

Willie Phillips

President Joe Biden has announced his intent to nominate Willie L. Phillips, Jr. as a commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

FERC is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil, electricity and other energy projects, ensuring that consumers can access affordable, efficient, safe, reliable and secure energy services. As the Biden Administration works to tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice and create a clean electricity grid by 2035, FERC will maintain an important role regulating the transmission of carbon-free energy across the country, according to a press release.

Phillips is an experienced regulatory attorney combining nearly 20 years of legal expertise as a utility regulator, in private practice, and as in-house counsel. He has an extensive background in the areas of public utility regulation, bulk power system reliability and corporate governance. As chairman of the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia (DCPSC), Phillips was a thoughtful and innovative leader in modernizing the energy grid, implementing the District’s aggressive clean energy and climate goals, and protecting the District’s customers, according to the White House.

Before the DCPSC, Phillips served as assistant general counsel for the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), a not-for-profit regulatory authority charged with ensuring the security and reliability of the bulk power system in Washington, D.C. He also worked for two law firms, where he advised clients on regulatory compliance, litigation and policy matters. Phillips is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), where he serves on the NARUC Board of Directors and chairs the Select Committee on Regulatory and Industry Diversity. He earned a Juris Doctor from Howard University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Montevallo.

FERC is composed of up to five commissioners who are appointed by the President and serve five-year terms. Currently, the commissioners are Richard Glick (chairman), James Danly, Allison Clements and Mark C. Christie.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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