The White House on Friday announced its intent to nominate Arizona regulator Marc Spitzer to a five-year term on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, replacing outgoing Commissioner Nora Mead Brownell.
Spitzer currently is a commissioner on the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). He had been chairman of the state commission from 2003-2005, and prior to that was a state senator. He would succeed Brownell, whose term ends on June 30 but who informed the White House last week that she plans to stay on at FERC until the first week of August to “allow those who have been recently nominated to go through the confirmation process.”
If confirmed by the Senate, Spitzer, a Republican, would join Jon Wellinghoff, a Democrat, and Philip D. Moeller, a Republican, as new members at FERC. Wellinghoff, a partner with the law firm of Beckley Singleton in Colorado, and Moeller, executive director of the Washington office for Alliant Energy Corp., were nominated by the White House in March, and appeared before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last week. The committee is expected to readily vote out their nominations, but they could face problems in the full Senate due to the abbreviated legislative session and crowded agenda.
The Electric Power Supply Association called for the Senate to “act as swiftly as possible” to confirm Spitzer, saying “he brings an immense amount of experience and knowledge of electricity markets” to the agency.
In addition to his electricity background, Spitzer, as chairman of the ACC, focused on policies encouraging the expansion of the natural gas infrastructure, particularly distribution and storage facilities; enhancing ACC’s renewables standard; and creating an energy demand-side management policy.
The political makeup of the Commission would be three Republicans and two Democrats if the new nominees are confirmed. FERC Chairman Joseph Kelliher is a Republican, while existing Commissioner Suedeen Kelly is a Democrat.
Spitzer is a native of Pittsburgh, PA, and grew up in Philadelphia. After graduating from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, he attended the University of Michigan School of Law. He is married and has a son.
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