Administration Nominates Massey to Another Term
Industry concerns that FERC could lose one of its most
experienced commissioners when his term expires at the end of this
month were partially quelled last week when President Clinton
nominated Commissioner William L. Massey to another term. His new
term, which is subject to Senate confirmation, would expire June
"I am excited by the opportunity of continued service at the
Commission during this time of dynamic change for our nation's
backbone energy industries," Massey said in a statement. He was
confirmed by the Senate to his present term on May 20, 1993 after
being nominated by President Clinton.
John Sharp, director of congressional affairs and counsel for
Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA), said Massey has been highly
valued for his "candor and knowledge of the industry," his "firm
grasp" of the issues, the functioning of the marketplace and "the
possible abuses that can go on in the marketplace. And he's not
bashful about expressing them."
"We think that the President made a wonderful decision," said
Sharp. "Now it's time for the Senate to do the same. You never know
what can come up at confirmation hearings. There are a lot of
controversial things hanging out there right now with regards to
what the Commission is doing. Those things can pop up not
necessarily based on the merits of the commissioner, but on general
Commission direction and goals and stuff."
NGSA President Nicholas Bush sent a letter to the Senate Energy
Committee last week urging rapid confirmation of the commissioner,
noting that a number of important issues currently are on FERC's
plate, including regulation of offshore pipelines.
Karen Hill, vice president of government relations at the
American Gas Association, said Massey has been "very thoughtful and
substantive in his consideration and decisions about important
industry issues. Now that the Commission is turning to gas issues,
we would be most happy if he can continue." The Senate received the
nomination from the administration last Thursday, but a Senate
staff member said confirmation hearings probably would not be
scheduled until after July 1.
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