The law firm of Stoel Rrives LLP announced Monday that outgoing FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff will join the practice when he departs the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Wellinghoff submitted his resignation to President Obama on May 28, but no date has been set for his departure (see Daily GPI, May 30). His term as chairman expired in June, but he can continue to serve until Congress adjourns for the year. Stoel Rives, which has offices in Washington, DC, and San Francisco, has nearly 100 attorneys. It has received a prestigious National First-Tier ranking for Energy Law in every edition of the annual U.S. News-Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” survey, and has been recognized as one of the nation’s best law firms for renewables and alternative energy by independent research Chambers and Partners for four consecutive years, according to Stoel Rives. Obama tapped Wellinghoff as FERC chairman in March 2009. He has served on the Commission since 2006. Wellinghoff has 37 years experience in regulatory, consumer and commercial law.

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) Monday placed a hold on President Obama’s nomination of Elizabeth Robinson to be undersecretary of the Department of Energy. Robinson currently is the chief financial officer at NASA, and has been directly involved with the lack of approval for a contract to build vehicles at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, LA, Vitter said. “Under the Obama administration, NASA has been stalling on a job-creating project at the Michoud Assembly Facility…for no apparent reason. Ms. Robinson needs to answer questions about why they’re delayed the project,” Vitter said. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved her nomination earlier this month and sent it to the Senate for confirmation.