U.S. Senator Tom Udall Praises Nomination of New Mexico’s Norman C. Bay to Lead Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

U.S. Senator Tom Udall welcomed news that Norman C. Bay, a former University of New Mexico law professor and U.S. Attorney, has been nominated to chair the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Bay is currently the Director of the Office of Enforcement at FERC, a position he has held since 2009.

“Norman is an outstanding example of excellence in public service. I look forward to working with him on the energy challenges facing New Mexico and the nation. We need a ‘do it all, do it right’ approach to ensure energy security and to build a strong energy industry that creates high-quality jobs, and FERC plays a strong role in shaping our energy policy,” Udall said. “I want to thank the president for recognizing Norman’s dedication to public service and his career of remarkable accomplishments. I am confident that Norman will do a fine job, and that his experience and expertise have prepared him to meet the challenges that come with this important post.”

Bay was a professor of law at the University of New Mexico from 2002-2009. He has a distinguished record of public service; from 2000-2001, Bay was the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico. He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1989-2000, as an Attorney-Adviser at the U.S. Department of State from 1988-1989, and as a law clerk for the Honorable Otto R. Skopil, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1986-1987. Bay earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is composed of up to five commissioners who are appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate. Commissioners serve five-year terms, and have an equal vote on regulatory matters.

FERC, is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. FERC also reviews proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines and licenses hydropower projects. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 gave FERC additional responsibilities including to:

  • Regulate the transmission and wholesale sales of electricity in interstate commerce;
  • Review certain mergers and acquisitions and corporate transactions by electricity companies;
  • Regulate the transmission and sale of natural gas for resale in interstate commerce;
  • Regulate the transportation of oil by pipeline in interstate commerce;
  • Approve the siting and abandonment of interstate natural gas pipelines and storage facilities;
  • Review the siting application for electric transmission projects under limited circumstances;
  • Ensure the safe operation and reliability of proposed and operating LNG terminals;
  • License and inspect private, municipal, and state hydroelectric projects;
  • Protect the reliability of the high voltage interstate transmission system through mandatory reliability standards;
  • Monitor and investigate energy markets;
  • Enforce FERC regulatory requirements through imposition of civil penalties and other means;
  • Oversee environmental matters related to natural gas and hydroelectricity projects and other matters; and
  • Administer accounting and financial reporting regulations and conduct of regulated companies