Consideration of Colette D. Honorable's nomination to be a commissioner at FERC is reportedly on hold following the unexpected death of her husband last weekend, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Mary Landrieu told reporters Wednesday.
"It's a very sad thing, so everything's kind of gone on hold," said Landrieu (D-LA), according to Politico. "I mean, she's still interested in the position, but her husband passed away unexpectedly."
If votes by the committee and the full Senate are delayed, Honorable's nomination process may be muddled by the looming Nov. 4 election, in which all 435 House seats and 33 Senate seats, including Landrieu's, are up for grabs.
President Obama nominated Honorable, chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission, to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last month (see Daily GPI, Aug. 29). If confirmed by the Senate, Honorable would replace John Norris, who resigned from FERC effective Aug. 20, nearly three years before his current term was due to expire (see Daily GPI, Aug. 8).
During an abbreviated meeting Thursday morning, the committee approved by voice vote the nomination of Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall to be deputy secretary of energy. Sherwood-Randall, who was nominated by Obama in July, currently serves as a special assistant to the President and served at the Department of Defense and on the National Security staff.
Both Landrieu and Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), the acting ranking member on the committee, said they were impressed by Sherwood-Randall's background and her performance during her July confirmation hearing.
"If confirmed, she would make her first order of business the timely approval of liquid natural gas exports...the Obama administration's failure to permit LNG exports in a timely manner is nothing short of malpractice," Barrasso said. "America's allies and strategic partners are imploring the administration to signal that American LNG will be available for purchase in the near future. Our allies want alternatives to Russian natural gas.
The committee approved Sherwood-Randall's nomination by a 12-0 vote.