The Senate Energy Committee Thursday approved and sent to the floor the nomination of Cheryl A. LaFleur, a former executive vice president and acting CEO of National Grid USA, to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The committee also approved the renomination of Commissioner Philip D. Moeller for a full term.

Both nominees will have to be approved by the full Senate. LaFleur, a Democrat, would fill the seat vacated by former Commissioner Suedeen Kelly, who left the agency in late December (see Daily GPI, Dec. 23, 2009 ).

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, a natural gas source noted.

If confirmed by the full Senate, LaFleur will join Chairman Jon Wellinghoff and Commissioner John Norris in making up a Democratic majority. Moeller and Commissioner Marc Spitzer are Republicans.

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.

Moeller has served on the Commission since July 2006 (see Daily GPI, July 17, 2006), when he assumed the seat of former FERC Chairman Pat Wood. His current term expires June 30.

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