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Enforcement Director Norman Bay Nominated to Chair FERC

In a press release issued last Thursday, January 30, 2014, the White House announced that the President intends to nominate the current Director of the Office of Enforcement of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Norman Bay, to become the next FERC Chairman. This is the President's second attempt to fill the seat that former Chairman Jon Wellinghoff vacated last November. As many will recall, nominee Ron Binz withdrew his candidacy in October following what he described as partisan "blood sport" over his confirmation.1 After Mr. Binz withdrew his nomination and Cheryl LaFleur was subsequently named Acting Chairwoman, there was much speculation about who would be the next nominee and what direction FERC would take under a new Chairperson. Not only is the suspense as to the identity of the nominee over, but Mr. Bay’s nomination also appears to confirm the direction that FERC will take with respect to investigations and enforcement. Assuming Mr. Bay is confirmed, the energy markets are likely to see an increase in enforcement actions and greater coordination between FERC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

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1 - Statement of Ronald J. Binz, Public Policy Consulting (issued Oct. 1, 2013) (announcing his request to be withdrawn as FERC nominee) (available at


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