The Senate has confirmed Cheryl A. LaFleur, a former executive vice president and acting CEO of National Grid USA, and current Commissioner Philip D. Moeller for terms at FERC. Both nominees were approved by the Senate Energy Committee last month (see NGI, May 10).
LaFleur, who has more than 20 years of experience in the energy industry, retired in 2007 from National Grid, which delivers electricity to 3.4 million customers in the Northeast and owns natural gas distributor KeySpan. New England senators wanted a FERC nominee who has a background in Northeast and New England energy issues, according to one natural gas source. Before joining National Grid in 1986, LaFleur was a lawyer at Ropes and Gray in Boston for eight years. She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her law degree from Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
LaFleur will fill the seat vacated by former Commissioner Suedeen Kelly, who left the agency in late December (see NGI, Jan. 4). LaFleur's term will end in 2014.
LaFleur will join Chairman Jon Wellinghoff and Commissioner John Norris in making up a Democratic majority. Moeller and Commissioner Marc Spitzer are Republicans.
Moeller has served on the Commission since July 2006 (see NGI, July 26, 2006), when he assumed the seat of former FERC Chairman Pat Wood. His new term will expire in 2015. Prior to joining FERC, Moeller was executive director of the Washington office for Wisconsin-based Alliant Energy Corp., and also worked in the Washington office of Calpine Corp. Prior to Alliant, Moeller was an energy policy advisor to former Sen. Slade Gorton (R-WA), and had been a staff coordinator for the Washington State Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications. He was born in Chicago and raised on a ranch near Spokane, WA. He received a B.A. in political science from Stanford University.
The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) quickly voiced its support for the confirmations.
"Commissioner Moeller is a familiar face to NARUC members," said NARUC President David Coen. "Since joining the Commission, he has reached out to state regulators and always welcomed our point of view. We also look forward to meeting our new colleague Commissioner LaFleur, who brings strong credentials and a unique perspective to the job. A solid federal-state partnership is essential to protecting consumers, and we pledge to work closely with our federal counterparts to achieve that goal."
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