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Rebecca Klein, Ex-Texas PUC Chair, Rumored as Replacement for Pat Wood

Reports are circulating in Washington that a former chairman of the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC), Rebecca A. Klein, is being considered for a seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, possibly to succeed Chairman Pat Wood, whose term expires in June.

The reports could not be confirmed, but Klein has very good connections. She served as a policy director for then-Gov. George W. Bush in the areas of telecommunications, energy, housing, technology and banking before being named to the PUC in 2001. She served as chairman of the PUC for part of that time before leaving in January 2004.

Klein currently is managing partner of the Austin, TX office of Loeffler Tuggey Pauerstein Rosenthal LLP. The firm also has offices in San Antonio and Washington, DC. She has over 16 years of extensive federal and state experience in public law, energy and telecommunications and recently was a candidate for the 25th Congressional District in Texas.

"I've heard some good things about her, She's a nice, balanced person. She's reasonable and very easy to work with," a state regulatory source told NGI.

Klein also served in the White House of President George W. Bush as associate director, Office of Presidential Personnel, where she recommended and recruited for the president's approval candidates for sub-Cabinet level and ambassadorial appointments. From 1991 to 1993, Klein was the associate director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. Her responsibilities included oversight of agency accounts in various multi-lateral banks. Her federal experience also includes service in the office of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX).

Klein currently holds the rank of major in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. She was awarded the National Defense and Southwest Asia Service Ribbons for her service in Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. She earned a juris doctor degree from St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio, TX, in 1996. She also holds a master of arts in national security studies from Georgetown University and a bachelor of arts in human biology from Stanford University. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas.

Wood, who has headed FERC since 2001, announced last month that he will leave the Commission when his term expires on June 30, and return to Texas (see NGI, April 11). He did not announce any specific plans.

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