Acting FERC Chair LaFleur wants to be renominated, retain leadership role

Acting FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur said on Jan. 27 that she would like to be renominated for another term and stay on as chair.

“[N]either of those are up to me, but that’s what I would like,” she said during a media roundtable. “But I would like to be renominated for another term, under any circumstance.”

As TransmissionHub reported, FERC announced last November that President Barack Obama appointed LaFleur the commission’s acting chair. She replaced Jon Wellinghoff, who resigned the position last May and served through Nov. 24, 2013.

She later added during the roundtable on Jan. 27: “I’d like to feel, at the end of my time, that the markets adapted and did what they needed to do for customers, kept the lights on at a just and reasonable price, and that the infrastructure was ready for those changes. And, that’s quite a piece of work, actually, because the infrastructure was built for the old world and not for the world that we’re moving into.”

LaFleur’s name rose on the list of potential appointments to the chair after Ron Binz withdrew his candidacy last October amid controversy over his support for renewable energy as well as his philosophy and approach to his previous position as chair of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. LaFleur is the most junior Democrat on the panel, behind the now-departed Wellinghoff and FERC Commissioner John Norris.

Other names discussed as possible successors to Wellinghoff included Colette Honorable, commissioner with the Arkansas Public Service Commission and newly elected president of the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners (NARUC), Rose McKinney-James, former commissioner with the Nevada Public Utilities Commission, and Jim Kerr, former NARUC president.

Unlike appointments to FERC, which must be confirmed by the Senate, the elevation of a sitting commissioner to the position of chair is an administrative action that does not need such confirmation.

LaFleur has served on the commission since July 2010. Her current appointment expires June 30, after which she would need to be reappointed to FERC and again face Senate confirmation if she is to continue to serve on the commission.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3205 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.