Massey to Replace Hoecker as FERC Chairman

Commissioner William Massey will take over the reins at FERC when Chairman James J. Hoecker steps down this week after more than seven years at the agency. His term will begin Jan. 19.

The White House notified Massey that he would be appointed the next chairman even before Hoecker publicly announced last Wednesday that his last day at the Commission would be Jan. 18.

Massey, a Democrat, is the senior member at the Commission, and, therefore, was considered the logical choice to head up the Commission, at least until the Senate can confirm whomever the incoming Bush administration nominates for that post. Both he and Hoecker were sworn in on the same day.

"My term will last at least 36 hours," Massey joked to NGI, noting that President-elect George W. Bush will be inaugurated the day after he's sworn in as chairman of the Commission. "My plan for whatever period of time I am chairman is to act in the public's interest."

Hoecker gave no reason for his decision to leave early, nor did he say what his immediate plans were. His departure will leave only three seats filled on the five-member panel.

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