On Thursday, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources approved the nomination of John R. Norris as Commissioner of FERC.  A similar vote was previously scheduled for September 15, but the necessary quorum of senators was never reached. 

Currently, Mr. Norris is Chief of Staff for Secretary Tom Vilsack at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”), a position he has held since January of this year.  Prior to joining the USDA, Mr. Norris was Chairman of the Iowa Utilities Board from 2005 until 2009.  Mr. Norris was nominated by President Obama on June 10 to fill the seat of former Chairman Joseph Kelliher, who left the Commission on March 13 (see June 12, 2009 edition of the WER).