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Administration Nominates Massey to Another Term

Administration Nominates Massey to Another Term

Industry concerns that FERC could lose one of its most experienced commissioners when his term expires at the end of this month were partially quelled last week when President Clinton nominated Commissioner William L. Massey to another term. His new term, which is subject to Senate confirmation, would expire June 30, 2003.

"I am excited by the opportunity of continued service at the Commission during this time of dynamic change for our nation's backbone energy industries," Massey said in a statement. He was confirmed by the Senate to his present term on May 20, 1993 after being nominated by President Clinton.

John Sharp, director of congressional affairs and counsel for Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA), said Massey has been highly valued for his "candor and knowledge of the industry," his "firm grasp" of the issues, the functioning of the marketplace and "the possible abuses that can go on in the marketplace. And he's not bashful about expressing them."

"We think that the President made a wonderful decision," said Sharp. "Now it's time for the Senate to do the same. You never know what can come up at confirmation hearings. There are a lot of controversial things hanging out there right now with regards to what the Commission is doing. Those things can pop up not necessarily based on the merits of the commissioner, but on general Commission direction and goals and stuff."

NGSA President Nicholas Bush sent a letter to the Senate Energy Committee last week urging rapid confirmation of the commissioner, noting that a number of important issues currently are on FERC's plate, including regulation of offshore pipelines.

Karen Hill, vice president of government relations at the American Gas Association, said Massey has been "very thoughtful and substantive in his consideration and decisions about important industry issues. Now that the Commission is turning to gas issues, we would be most happy if he can continue." The Senate received the nomination from the administration last Thursday, but a Senate staff member said confirmation hearings probably would not be scheduled until after July 1.

Rocco Canonica

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