On January 30, 2014, President Barrack Obama announced his plan to nominate Norman Bay as FERC Commissioner, replacing departed FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff.  Upon his appointment, President Obama will designate Mr. Bay to serve as FERC Chairman.

Mr. Bay currently serves as FERC’s Director of the Office of Enforcement, a position he has held since 2009.  Prior to joining FERC, Mr. Bay was a Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Bay served at the U.S. Attorney for New Mexico from 2000 to 2001, and served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia and in New Mexico from 1989 to 2000.  He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School.

During Mr. Bay’s tenure as Director of the Office of Enforcement, FERC issued increased fines for alleged market manipulation, including the three largest civil penalties ever issued by FERC, in the amounts of $435 million (see July 19, 2013 edition of the WER), $285 million, and $135 million (see March 12, 2012 edition of the WER).

The nomination is President Obama’s second attempt to fill former Chairman Wellinghoff’s seat after Ron Binz withdrew his name from consideration last year amid heavy opposition (see October 7, 2013 edition of the WER).

A copy of the White House press release is available here.