April 28, 2017
By Michael Brooks
FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable announced Friday she will not seek a second term on the commission. Her current term expires June 30.
“After much prayer and consideration, I’ve decided not to pursue another term at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,” Honorable said in a statement. “I appreciate the strong bipartisan support I’ve enjoyed over the years and look forward to continuing this important work after leaving the commission.”
Honorable at an EBA event in 2016 | © RTO Insider
Honorable was nominated by President Barack Obama in August 2014 to fill the remainder of former Commissioner John Norris’ term. The Senate unanimously confirmed the former Arkansas Public Service Commission chairman in December 2014. (See Senate Confirms Honorable to FERC.)
Neither Honorable nor FERC said when she would leave the commission. “We have nothing more than her statement,” a FERC spokeswoman said.
Honorable could serve until her successor is confirmed or the end of the current Congressional session, whichever comes first.
In the past, some commissioners have stayed on past their terms’ expiration dates, saying they would wait until a replacement is named.
But Commissioner Tony Clark left at the end of September last year after his term expired in June without any nomination being submitted. And the commission has been without a quorum since February, when Chairman Norman Bay resigned after President Trump named Cheryl LaFleur acting chair.
Honorable had been interviewed on E&ETV’s “OnPoint” web show April 24 and gave no hint of her impending decision. She also said the commission was “hopeful that any day, any week we will hear who the nominees will be” and that she had no insight into when they would be announced.
Stakeholders and members of Congress have grown increasingly agitated that the president has not submitted any nominations to the Senate.
Honorable’s chances of being reappointed diminished with Trump’s election. Although the commission has not traditionally been marked by partisan divisions, the president gets to appoint members of his party to three of the five seats and pick the chairmanship. (See CPP, FERC’s Bay, Honorable Among Losers in Trump Win.)
Since Republicans Philip Moeller and Clark left, the five-member panel had been all Democrats: Honorable, Bay (whose term ran through June 2018) and LaFleur (June 2019).
Although Bay’s departure left an opening for a second Democrat, FERC insiders had not expected Honorable to remain.