Senate confirms nominations of Norris, Clark to FERC

WASHINGTON 5/29/12 (PennWell) — The Senate has confirmed President Obama’s nominations of John Norris and Anthony Clark to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

By unanimous consent late May 24, the full Senate approved the nominations of Democrat Norris to a second FERC term and Republican Clark to a first term on the five-member utility regulator. The nominations were endorsed April 26 by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

“I am honored to be confirmed for a full term as a commissioner at FERC and thank President Obama and the U.S. Senate for the opportunity to continue serving the American people,” Norris said. “The energy issues we work on at FERC are critical to our nation’s economy and to the safety and well-being of our citizens.”

Norris, a lawyer and state utility regulator from Iowa, was first named to the commission by Obama in 2009. His initial term expired this year. Clark, who has served on the North Dakota Public Service Commission since 2001, was named to succeed Commissioner Marc Spitzer who left FERC in December.

Prior to his service at FERC, Norris was chief of staff to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and former chief of staff to then Iowa Gov. Vilsack, a former chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, and chairman of the Iowa Utilities Board from 2005-2009.

Norris is a 1995 graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law, after receiving an undergraduate degree from Simpson College in Iowa. He served as chief of staff to Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa, from 1997-1998, and from 1989-2003 owned a restaurant in Iowa.

Clark is former president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, a former North Dakota Labor Commissioner, and a former state legislator. He holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and history education from North Dakota State University and a master’s in public administration from the University of North Dakota.

No more than three members of the same party may serve on the five-member commission. The other Republican on the panel is Commissioner Philip Moeller, whose term expires in 2015. The other two Democrats on the commission are Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, whose term expires in 2012, and Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur, whose term expires in 2014.

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