GOP energy commissioner to step down this month

Philip Moeller, a Republican member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), will step down from his post at the end of October, he announced Tuesday. 

“I thank my colleagues for all of their hard work in improving the energy industry, members of the public who help inform our decisions, and the staff at FERC for their dedication and support throughout my two terms, especially the members of my office team,” Moeller said in a statement. 

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“FERC is an amazing agency, and I have been honored and privileged to have had the opportunity to serve our nation as a FERC Commissioner. After leaving the Commission I plan to pursue other opportunities in the energy field.” 

Moeller said in May that he would retire from FERC at the end of his term this summer, or whenever the Senate confirmed his successor. 

President Obama has yet to nominate a replacement for Moeller, though it has long been rumored that Patrick McCormick, a senior GOP aide on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, would be the pick. 

FERC has jurisdiction over interstate energy commerce, wholesale electricity markets, oil and natural gas pipelines and licensing hydroelectric projects.

President George W. Bush nominated Moeller to FERC in 2006, and Obama renominated him to his post in 2010. Before his stint at FERC, Moeller lead the D.C. office of Alliant Energy Corp., and the Washington office of Calpine Corp. and was a staffer to then-Sen. Slade Gorton (R-Wash.).

Moeller has opposed the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent climate rule for power plants, which he warned in December would “interfere with America’s competitive market forces, perhaps resulting in even more greenhouse gases in the future.”

Moeller’s absence will mean a vacancy on the FERC board and leave only one Republican — Tony Clark — on the panel.