The Obama administration has chosen Norman Bay, director of the Office of Enforcement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, to chair the commission after nominee Ron Binz withdrew his nomination last year.
The White House released a statement on Jan. 30 announcing Bay's nomination. Bay is an attorney, having worked as a law professor and U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico. He has been with FERC since 2009.
"Bay has received kudos—and brickbats from some quarters—for combating manipulation in energy markets. Since the Energy Policy Act of 2005 increased FERC’s enforcement powers, the commission has imposed approximately $873 million in civil penalties and disgorgement of profits," the American Public Power Daily reported.
Bay would join the five-member agency as a commissioner, and be designated chairman when he joins the board. He would succeed Cheryl LaFleur, the acting chairman who’s also a FERC commissioner.
As with any nominee, there may be some comments of opposition as reported by Bloomberg News: “It’s curious that they would elevate him to chairman over existing qualified members,” said Robert Dillon, a spokesman for Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Murkowski is the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that will consider Bay’s nomination.
But someone has to do it. Do you think Bay is the best choice to head the industry's enforcement and regulatory agency?