The U.S. Senate has confirmed the nomination of Colette Honorable to join the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The confirmation, reached last night, makes Honorable, currently chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission since 2011 and former president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), the replacement for John Norris, who resigned in August for a U.S. Department of Agriculture post in Italy.  Honorable will serve out the remainder of Norris’s term, which ends in June 2017.

Honorable, a lawyer by training, has widespread support throughout the industry—in marked contrast with the previous, beleagured nomination and withdrawal of Ron Binz—and is generally viewed as neither for nor against particular energy sources. FERC Chairman Cheryl A. LaFleur said, “Colette brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the important issues we are facing. She and I worked together closely during her time as the President of NARUC, and I very much look forward to continuing that strong relationship when she joins the Commission.”

NARUC President Lisa Edgar of Florida issued a statement that called Honorable’s confirmation “great news for consumers across the country. Throughout her tenure at NARUC, Chairman Honorable was a fair and impartial regulator. She led our Association with grace and determination, sharpening our focus on the safety and diversity of our nation’s electricity system.”

Edison Electric Institute (EEI) President Tom Kuhn also praised Honorable, saying that “EEI has worked constructively with Chairman Honorable on a number of key industry issues throughout her career and, most recently, during her tenure as President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Chairman Honorable will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to FERC.”

 —Gail Reitenbach, PhD, Editor (@GailReit, @POWERmagazine)