LaFleur named acting FERC chairman

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Cheryl A. LaFleur, a commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission since July 2010, has been named as acting chairman following the departure of former chair Jon Wellinghof.

“I would like to thank President Obama for this opportunity,” said LaFleur. “I am honored to lead the Commission at a time when the nation is making substantial changes in its energy supply and infrastructure to meet environmental challenges and improve reliability and security. The Commission also has important work ahead in implementing Order No. 1000, setting transmission rates, and ensuring competitive markets work fairly and effectively for consumers.”

LaFleur joined the Commission after having retired as executive vice president and acting CEO of National Grid USA. Since joining the Commission, she has focused attention on strengthening reliability and grid security, promoting regional transmission planning, and supporting a clean and diverse power supply. She serves as the FERC liaison to the Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee, is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Committees on Electricity and Critical Infrastructure and co-chaired the FERC/NARUC Forum on Reliability and the Environment.

Wellinghof tendered his resignation in May but committed to staying in the post until his successor had been appointed. At the end of June Ron Binz, consultant and former chair of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, was nominated as chairman but last month he withdrew his nomination in the face of a storm generated over comments critical of fossil fuels.