Philip Moeller, a Bush-nominated commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and outspoken critic of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan for its cost and reliability implications, will step down at the end of this month.
Moeller, a Republican, joined FERC in 2006, nominated by President George W. Bush. Obama re-nominated him in 2010. His term formally expired in June 2015. His absence leaves one Republican on the independent agency’s five-commissioner panel.
Before joining FERC, Moeller served as a staff coordinator for the Washington State Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications, and as the head of Alliant Energy Corp.’s Washington, D.C., office.
“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. 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,” Moeller said in a statement.
After leaving FERC, Moeller plans to pursue “other opportunities in the energy field.”
Moeller has repeatedly said that he can be “fuel-neutral” but not “reliability-neutral.” He has often called for more analysis of reliability implications from environmental rules, citing concerns that “EPA’s analysis failed to analyze whether there was sufficient transfer capability to move power from areas of energy surplus to areas short of power.”
“Given that public policy aspirations cannot violate the laws of physics, we need to act carefully in transforming the power grid,” he once told lawmakers at a hearing outlining threats to the bulk power system’s reliability.
For more, see this POWER interview with Moeller on gas-electric harmonization, reliability, and the future of natural gas.
—Sonal Patel, associate editor (@POWERmagazine, @sonalcpatel)