Editor’s Note: On October 14, 2009 John R. Norris’ FERC nomination received endorsement from the U.S. Senate Panel.
MendoCoastCurrent, June 11, 2009
President Barack Obama nominated Iowa Democrat John R. Norris to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, filling the seat vacated by the resignation of former Chairman Joseph Kelliher, a Republican.
Norris was most recently chief of staff to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. He is also a former chief of staff to then Iowa Gov. Vilsack, a former chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party and chairman of the Iowa Utilities Board from 2005-2009.
This FERC nomination shifts the five-member commission’s political balance to three Democrats and two Republicans from three Republicans and two Democrats.
In March, Obama designated Commissioner Jon Wellinghoff, a Nevada independent turned Democrat, to be commission chairman, succeeding Kelliher.
The president also announced the nomination of Commissioner Suedeen Kelly, a New Mexico Democrat, to a third term.
Editors Note: On September 21, 2009, FERC Commissioner Suedeen Kelly announced she is declining the nomination to serve a second term on the panel. In her tenure, Kelly has overseen the development of commercial scale renewable energy, the expansion of bid-based regional auction markets for electricity, growth in natural gas pipelines and storage and the birth of the smart grid. “It is time for me to move on and pursue opportunities to advance these objectives in the private sector,” said Kelly in a statement.
The two Republicans on the panel are Philip Moeller of Washington and Marc Spitzer of Arizona.