Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., responded quickly May 29 to the word that Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), would step down.
“Under Chairman Wellinghoff’s leadership, FERC launched important investigations to protect consumers against traders and financial firms who manipulated energy markets,” Wyden said. “While we disagreed on electric transmission siting issues, he deserves credit for championing efforts to increase America’s renewable energy supply. His expertise and leadership will be missed.”
Wellinghoff was named Chairman of FERC by President Barack Obama in March 2009. First appointed as a commissioner to FERC in 2006, Wellinghoff is an energy law attorney with 37 years experience in regulatory, consumer and commercial law. Prior to joining FERC, he was in private practice focusing exclusively on client matters related to renewable energy, energy efficiency and distributed generation. His term expires on June 30.
Reports are that Wellinghoff has submitted his resignation to President Obama, but will stay on until a new commissioner is confirmed. The Obama Administration hasn’t nominated a replacement. Colette Honorable, chairwoman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission, has been rumored to be a possibility.
Honorable was designated as chair of the Arkansas PSC in January 2011. She was first appointed to the PSC in October 2007. Prior to that, Honorable served as Chief of Staff for then-state Attorney General Mike Beebe.