U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today commented on the announcement that President Obama intends to nominate Mr. Ronald Binz to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and, if he is confirmed, to designate Mr. Binz as Chair to succeed departing Chairman Jon Wellinghoff:
"FERC's decisions have a direct effect on whether our nation's energy is abundant, affordable, and secure. During the confirmation process, I will carefully consider the nominee's qualifications and fitness to serve -- not only as Commissioner, but also as Chair."
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is an independent, quasi-judicial body that issues hundreds of orders and many rules each year. Murkowski strongly believes that each of the Commissioners, and especially the Chair, must have and maintain a judicial temperament and must demonstrate a record for balance and a scrupulous regard for the law and the rules.
It is noteworthy that in recent decades it has been rare to elevate the newest member of the Commission directly to Chairman. Under the law, FERC's Chair is responsible for setting the Agenda and managing the Agency.