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Bush Team Eyes Hebert as Acting FERC Chairman

Bush Team Eyes Hebert as Acting FERC Chairman

Commissioner William Massey, who took over as FERC chairman Friday, is likely to have the shortest term as FERC chairman on record, with the Bush administration looking to replace him with Commissioner Curt Hebert Jr. as acting chairman possibly as early as this week, according to a member of the Bush energy transition team.

"I would tell him [Massey] not to move any furniture," said the representative of the energy transition team, which met in Washington, D.C. last Wednesday for the first time. Massey, a Democrat, was tapped by the Clinton White House to succeed Chairman James Hoecker on Friday, but the Bush administration plans to replace him with a "Republican right away," the source said. Hebert is the sole Republican on the Commission.

But this doesn't mean that Hebert will be the Bush White House's choice to head up FERC in the longer term. "All I am going to [say] is that I think it's problematic at this time that he [Hebert] will be chairman," the transition team member noted. "I'm not going to tell you that I'll bet my paycheck that he won't get the job, but I will bet something less than my paycheck."

The musical chairs for FERC chairman began when Hoecker announced he would step down after leading the agency for more than three years. His last day at the Commission was Jan. 18.

Susan Parker

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