FERC Chairman Kelliher submits resignation

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FERC Chairman Joseph Kelliher will step down at the start of the new administration on January 20.

Through a statement released yesterday, Chairman Kelliher stated that he would immediately begin to recuse himself from FERC business. Kelliher was appointed chairman by President Bush in July 2005.

It was during Kellihers term that Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) passed the Congress. For hydropower licensing, the EPAct allowed a party to request a trial-type hearing to challenge issues of “material fact” that formed the basis of environmental conditions prescribed by resource agencies during a licensing process. Such a provision has often caused resource agencies to limit their prescriptions for fear of a legal battle.

The next chair will be nominated by President-elect Obama and confirmed by the Congress. The other four current members of the Commission are Philip Moeller, Mark Spitzer, Suedeen Kelly and Jon Wellinghoff.