President Bush last Tuesday signaled his intention to nominate sitting FERC Commissioner Jon Wellinghoff to a full five-year term at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Wellinghoff, a former attorney from Nevada, was initially sworn in at the FERC on July 31, 2006 to serve out the remainder of the term of former Commissioner William Massey. His current term will expire June 30, 2008.

The White House has tapped Wellinghoff for a term to expire on June 30, 2013. Wellinghoff is one of two Democrats on the Commission, with the other being Commissioner Suedeen Kelly.

His nomination has been forwarded to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over FERC nominations and other energy-related nominations.

Meanwhile, the nomination of FERC Chairman Joseph Kelliher to a second term at FERC is still pending in the Senate. His current term expired on June 30, but he has been allowed to continue to serve while awaiting Senate action on his nomination. One industry observer believes the Senate will vote out Kelliher's nomination before adjourning, but it will come at "the 11th hour, 59th minute."

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