Jon Wellinghoff was named Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the agency that oversees wholesale electric transactions and interstate electric transmission and gas transportation in the United States, by President Barack Obama on March 19, 2009. A member of the Commission since 2006, the U.S. Senate reconfirmed him to a full, five-year FERC term in December 2007.
Chairman Wellinghoff is an energy law specialist with more than 34 years experience in the field. Before joining FERC, he was in private practice focusing exclusively on client matters related to renewable energy, energy efficiency and distributed generation. While in the private sector, Chairman Wellinghoff represented an array of clients from federal agencies, renewable developers, and large consumers of power to energy efficient product manufacturers and clean energy advocacy organizations.
Chairman Wellinghoff was the primary author of the Nevada Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Act. The Nevada RPS is one of the two states to receive an “A” rating by the Union of Concerned Scientists. In addition, he worked with clients to develop renewable portfolio standards in six other states. The Chairman is considered an expert on the state renewable portfolio process and has lectured extensively on the subject in numerous forums including the Vermont Law School.
His experience also includes two terms as the State of Nevada’s first Consumer Advocate for Customers of Public Utilities. While serving in that role, Chairman Wellinghoff represented Nevada’s utility consumers before the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, the FERC, and in appeals before the Nevada Supreme Court. While Consumer Advocate, he authored the first comprehensive state utility integrated planning statute. That statute has become a model for utility integrated planning processes across the country.
Chairman Wellinghoff’s priorities at FERC include opening wholesale electric markets to renewable resources, providing a platform for participation of demand response and other distributed resources in wholesale electric markets including energy efficiency and local storage systems such as those in plug-in hybrid and all electric vehicles (PHEVs and EVs), and promoting greater efficiency in our nation’s energy infrastructure through the institution of advanced technologies and system integration. As Chairman he created FERC’s Office of Energy Policy and Innovation (OEPI), which is responsible for investigating and promoting new efficient technologies and practices in the energy sectors under FERC’s jurisdiction. Chairman Wellinghoff is co-chair of the Smart Response Collaborative launched jointly by FERC and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and is a member of NARUC’s Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Institute for Electric Efficiency and served as an advisor to the Defense Science Board’s Energy Policy Task Force. He is also the Co-Chair of the Executive Leadership Team of the Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) Green Transmission Efficiency Initiative. Chairman Wellinghoff also advises the Energy Foundation and the NRDC on China-U.S. energy policy matters. He was designated by the Obama Administration to be a Principal in the Joint U.S./China Strategic and Economic Dialog and recently returned from China where he participated in diplomatic discussions with China’s energy leaders including China’s Energy Minister, Zhang Guobao.more » « less