Democratic News

The Senate today approved the nominations of Joe Kelliher and Suedeen Kelly to fill vacancies on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The appointments come at a crucial time for the five-member panel, which has been operating with the minimum of three commissioners. FERC is an independent agency that regulates the transmission and wholesale sale of electricity, the transmission of natural gas, the transmission of oil by pipeline and the licensing of hydroelectric projects. “I have long supported Joe and Suedeen’s nominations and am pleased that they now will add their experience and perspective to the important work of this commission,” said Jeff Bingaman, top Democrat on the Senate Energy Committee. “It is essential that the FERC have commissioners who understand the difficult challenges that our nation faces in ensuring a reliable and affordable power supply. Both Joe and Suedeen have the deep understanding of these issues that is needed at this time.” Kelliher is a former Congressional aide and senior policy advisor to Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. Kelly is a former state utility commission chair, attorney and a law professor at the University of New Mexico. Kelliher’s term will run through June 2007, while Kelly will complete the remainder of a term set to expire next summer. # # #