White House 'Signs Off' On Hebert Renomination
The White House has given the green-light to the renomination of
Commissioner Curt Hebert Jr. for a full five-year term at the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
"It's my understanding that they've signed off on my
nomination," Hebert told NGI. He noted Senate Majority Leader Trent
Lott (R-MS), whom he calls a "very good friend," sent a letter to
the White House in January seeking his renomination. He's also had
the support of Senate Energy Chairman Frank Murkowski (R-AK) and
Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID).
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is expected to
receive the renomination of Hebert when Congress returns from
recess in mid-April, at which time it will schedule a confirmation
hearing. His renomination will then be sent to the Senate for
Hebert, a former Mississippi state legislator and regulator, was
first named commissioner in November 1997 to fill the remainder of
the term left vacant by former Commissioner Donald Santa. During
this short partial term, which expires June 30th, Hebert has earned
a reputation as probably the most outspoken member of FERC.
One of the gas issues he will continue to press during his
second term is the need for preliminary determinations (PDs) for
pipeline projects, he said. "The only way to deal with that
appropriately, I believe, is to do what the Commission has done
over the past 10 years, and that is to look at a PD on project
'need'...and then decide the environmental issues at a later date.
We need to go ahead and send some early signals to the financial
He believes the FERC majority set a dangerous precedent recently
when it bypassed PDs in four Northeast-bound projects. "When the
Commission first started looking behind contracts and talking about
whether or not pipes were full on the day the construction was
completed, I knew we were going in the wrong direction."
Hebert said he advocates increased pipeline construction even as
the Commission is "moving away from putting more pipes in the
ground...We need to make available additional capacity for those
areas that require it."
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