Commissioner Moeller to step down from FERC at term’s end

Commissioner Philip D. Moeller confirmed May 13 he will not seek a third term on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“My plan as of now is to serve until a new commissioner is confirmed,” Moeller, a Republican, said in a brief statement.

Moeller, of Washington, was named to the commission by President George W. Bush in 2006 and was renominated by President Obama in 2010.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve on the commission every single day since I joined the commission in July 2006,” Moeller said. “I send thanks to President Bush and President Obama for nominating me, as well as the members of the United States Senate who unanimously confirmed me to both terms.”

Prior to joining the commission, Moeller worked in Washington, D.C., for Alliant Energy Corp. and Calpine Corp. From 1997-2000, he was energy policy adviser to Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash.

Moeller testified before a House subcommittee in 2013, telling lawmakers that hydropower licensing might be accelerated if Congress could compel state and federal resource agencies to meet deadlines in the licensing process.

“Simply put, the commission is dependent on state and federal agencies to submit timely determinations/conditions as part of the regulatory review of projects,” he said at that time. “It is especially difficult when these agencies issue their determinations or impose conditions late in the process.”

Report: Senate committee counsel considered for vacancy

A published report said Pat McCormick III, the chief Republican counsel for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is being considered to be nominated as Moeller’s replacement. Before joining the committee in 2011, McCormick was a partner in the law firm Hunton & Williams LLP. Prior to that, he served as deputy assistant general counsel at FERC.

Moeller’s departure at term’s end is the latest in a series of changes at the five-member regulatory agency.

Commissioner Norman C. Bay became FERC chairman April 15 under terms of a compromise that had ensured Senate confirmation of his nomination to the commission last year. Bay, a Democrat, succeeded Chairman Cheryl LaFleur, also a Democrat, who stepped down from the leadership post but retains her commission seat under Bay’s leadership.

In December, the Senate confirmed Obama’s nomination of Arkansas utility regulator Colette Honorable, a Democrat, to fill the remainder of the term of Commissioner John Norris who announced his resignation in August. Honorable is to serve until June 2017.

The sole remaining Republican on the panel is Anthony Clark, whose term expires in 2016.

No more than three members of the same party may serve on the five-member commission.

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