Thursday, January 08, 2009

FERC Chairman Kelliher Resigns; Who Will President Obama Pick?

Decisions by FERC on wholesale electricity rates have an enormous impact on New York consumers because of the Public Service Commission’s decisions in recent years, which led most New York utilities to sell their power plants, with the result that now more power must be bought in federally (de)regulated wholesale markets at flawed "market-based rates" for resale to retail customers. We have previously written about the possibility of reshaping the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the new Obama administration to achieve the consumer protection role originally intended when the agency was created. See
FERC Chairman Kelliher yesterday announced he will step down effective inauguration day, January 20, 2009. See
Will we see a new FERC more committed to just and reasonable rates or will we see more of the same?

Update January 14, 2008
Blumenthal Applauds FERC Commissioner's Resignation
"This resignation starts dismantling a fatally flawed FERC -- leadership that is deservedly doomed as we welcome a new and promising administration," Blumenthal, a Democrat, said in a statement.

Under Kelliher's leadership, FERC has been "on a lawless and mindless mission to nearly obliterate state rights, and approve virtually all energy projects at any cost to the environment and ordinary citizens," Blumenthal said.

Kelliher, a Republican, will initially remain as one of five commissioners of the agency, which oversees power grid reliability and wholesale natural gas markets."
"This resignation marks a moment that enables President-elect Obama's administration to restore FERC's true mission: protecting consumers from exploitation by energy companies that provide a basic necessity of modern life," Blumenthal said. "FERC must finally defend consumers from unwise and unjust energy policies that favor industry interests over public interests."

Update January 20, 2008


SNL EXTRA 1/21/2009 1:56 PM ET

Although he announced his intent two weeks ago to step down as chairman of FERC on Jan. 20, Chairman Joseph Kelliher said Jan. 21 that he plans to stay on in his post until President Barack Obama names a successor.

No comments: