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Clark Sworn in as FERC Commissioner

Tony Clark, former chairman of the North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC), has been sworn in to fill a Republican seat at FERC.

This comes only a few weeks after the full Senate confirmed his nomination (see Daily GPI, May 29). Clark will serve out the balance of the term ending June 2016 that was vacated by former Commissioner Marc Spitzer. Clark joins Commissioner Philip Moeller as the only Republicans on the Commission. Chairman Jon Wellinghoff and Commissioners Cheryl LaFleur and John Norris make up the Democratic majority.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) spokeswoman Mary O'Driscoll said she did not know who Clark was to be sworn in by. Nor did she know if he would be at the Commission's monthly meeting scheduled for June 21.

During his term at the North Dakota commission, the PSC issued permits for $5.5 billion in wind, coal, and oil and gas infrastructure, said energy analyst Christine Tezak of Robert W. Baird & Co at the time of Clark's confirmation. "Clark may bring a helpful upstream [gas] producer state perspective to a commission where electricity issues have dominated for more than a decade. This pro-infrastructure stance is likely to be welcomed by investors concerned about FERC-jurisdictional ROEs [returns on equity] for transmission and pipelines," she said.

Clark, who was tapped by President Obama in February to fill the vacant seat at FERC (see Daily GPI, Feb. 7), served on the PSC since 2000. He is the immediate past president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and served in the North Dakota House of Representatives from 1994 to 1997.

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