Earlier this week, the White House officially nominated Collette Honorable to become the next Commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC"). Ms. Honorable is currently Chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission and President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Ms. Honorable would fill the term of Commissioner John Norris, who left FERC in August to become minister-counseler for the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the U.S. Embassy in Rome. Ms. Honorable would serve the remaining three years of Commissioner Norris's term, which expires in 2017.
Ms. Honorable would bring considerable expertise in natural gas matters, especially pipeline safety, to the Commission. FERC's focus in recent years has been on electricity matters such as demand response, integration of renewable resources, and improving transmission planning. Ms. Honorable's nomination may bring a greater focus back to natural gas issues, and may also help the Commission resolve issues straddling the natural gas and electricity markets, such as the coordination of gas and electric trading days and the expansion of gas pipeline capacity to accommodate the nation's expanding natural gas generation fleet.