On September 21, 2009, in a surprise announcement, Commissioner Suedeen Kelly stated she would turn down President Obama’s nomination for another term at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) to pursue opportunities in the private sector. On July 28, 2009, Obama nominated Kelly to what would have been her third term, and if accepted, she would have served until June 30, 2014 (see July 31, 2009 edition of the WER).
Commissioner Kelly was an advocate for “smart grid” modernization and serves as the co-chair of the “Smart Grid Collaborative” between FERC and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Prior to joining the Commission, she served as a professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law, chairwoman of the New Mexico Public Service Commission, legislative aide to Senator Jeff Bingaman, advisor to the California Independent Systems Operator during the 2000-2001, and a private sector lawyer.
Kelly’s current term expired in June 2009. While Kelly said she will continue to serve on the five-member panel until the Senate can confirm her replacement, Kelly is only eligible to remain on the Commission until Congress adjourns.