Media Statements & Speeches
Chairman Jon Wellinghoff Statement
December 20, 2012
Administrative & General Announcements
“I have a few announcements before we begin with our agenda items.
“As we gather together with our family and friends for the holidays, please stop and take the time to give thanks for all the good things of the year just passed, to rejoice in our children, to enjoy the company of our loved ones. We have much to pause and be thankful for in this country, but we also should pause to help those who may be suffering from economic or emotional trials and tribulations.
“I am proud to report to you all that the good people of our agency have stepped up to that challenge once again. We at FERC have currently raised $435,300 or 118 percent of our goal for the Combined Federal Campaign.
So let me put this in a little perspective for you.
“For 10 agencies of similar size who participated in the Combined Federal Campaign for the National Capital Region:
- Per-capita pledges ranged from a low of $26 per person to a high of - $323 person here at FERC- We are #1. Next closest to FERC - $253-
- Total dollars pledged ranged from a low of $41,256 – to a high of $435,300 here at FERC. Next closest to FERC - $352,297. Again FERC is #1.
- Participation ranged from a low of 6% - a high of 61%. Guess where- Yes FERC #1 again.
- And finally, percent pledged to goal ranged from a low of 40% - a high of 118% of goal. And where was that at- FERC.
“So you see FERC is a very special place to be because of the people who work here day in and day out. I have said this many times, because it is truly heartfelt. Our FERC staff are the best employees in the federal government and – to borrow a phrase from Garrison Keelor- they are all way above average- when it comes to competence and dedication, their depth of knowledge and skills, their work ethic, and astounding creativity, and certainly as evidenced by their generous efforts for the Combined Federal Campaign, their commitment to the public good.
“I want to thank you and wish every one of you a very merry holiday season and a safe and prosperous New Year.
“The end of the year is also a time when we often have to say goodbye and thanks to some special colleagues. First, it is my privilege to announce the retirement of Kevin Kelly of our Office of Energy Policy and Innovation. Prior to joining the Commission, Kevin carved out a distinguished career as an energy policy guru. He was the Director of the Office of Electricity, Coal, Nuclear, and Renewable Policy in the U.S. Department of Energy. In that position, Kevin was responsible for the strategic vision for implementing the Energy Policy Act of 1992.
“Kevin Kelly joined the Commission in 1994. Since that time, Kevin has been instrumental in policies and strategies underlying the initiation and implementation of numerous landmark orders, including the Commission’s orders on open access transmission, regional transmission organizations, removing barriers to non-traditional resources participation in the wholesale markets and, most recently, regional transmission planning and cost allocation. Kevin’s performance at FERC and his contributions to the Office of Energy Policy and Innovation are an enduring legacy.
“Seven generations of Chairman and Commissioners have been extremely well served by Kevin Kelly’s insights and counsel. For me personally, I have always appreciated and admired Kevin’s depth of institutional history and comprehensive knowledge of energy policy that he commands enabling him to provide me with an informed and measured perspective on any idea or initiative he and I would discuss. Kevin has been a truly valued Chairman’s advisor to me and to all of my predecessors. So it is with great pleasure that I present Kevin with the Chairman's Medal.
“Next, I would like to announce the retirement of Chuck Schneider, Director of the Office of Executive Director. Chuck has had a very distinguished career. Chuck began his Federal Service in July 1969 in the U.S. Navy and was commissioned an Officer in July 1970. During his service, Chuck has been recognized with the following awards:
- Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star
- Navy Commendation Medal
- Navy Achievement Medal with Gold Star
- Navy Unit Commendation with Bronze Star
- National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
- Overseas Service Ribbon with Bronze Star
“Chuck began his Civilian Federal Service with the Smithsonian Institution as a Supervisory Civil Engineer in December 1991.
“He then joined the National Gallery of Art, serving as their Deputy Administrator from March 1995 to June 2005. He was appointed as a member of the Senior Executive Service in June 2005 when he became the Executive Director for the Federal Trade Commission.
“We were able to lure Chuck away from the FTC in December 2010 when he became our Executive Director – a position that wears many hats overseeing the Commission’s financial, information technology and human capital functions. Chuck has been an excellent financial steward of the Commission. During his tenure at FERC, Chuck accomplishments include an unprecedented 18 consecutive unqualified financial statement audit opinions; successfully directing a Commission-wide workforce reshaping assessment to review the future programmatic administrative and operations workforce needs; and successfully overseeing the modernization of the Commission’s IT, financial, and human resources processes. I gives me great honor to recognize Chuck’s military and civilian service, and specifically his service here at the Commission with the Flag Award.
“Finally, I have an announcement of a new appointment at FERC.
“I am extremely pleased to announce that Anton Porter has accepted the position as the Commission’s new Executive Director. Anton has been the Deputy Chief Financial Officer or the Chief Financial Officer for the past 7 years. He also serves as the Chairman of the Small Agency Council’s Finance Committee. I have every confidence, given Anton’s skill, experience and work ethic, that he will carry on in the exemplar traditional of our 2 immediate past ED’s, Tom Herlihy and Chuck Schneider.
“On today’s agenda, we approve two orders related to the Valley Electric Association, a member-owned electric cooperative based in Pahrump, Nevada, which is joining CAISO, effective January 3, 2013. We also approve tariff provisions for the City of Colton, in California, which will become a member of CAISO, effective January 1, 2013.
“On December 13, the MISO Board of Directors approved applications for transmission owning membership by Entergy Arkansas, Entergy Gulf States, Entergy Louisiana, Entergy Mississippi, Entergy New Orleans, Entergy Texas and the South Mississippi Electric Power Association (SMEPA). Also this month, CLECO submitted a filing to the Louisiana Public Service Commission for approval to join MISO. And earlier this year, East Kentucky Power Cooperative filed a request with the Kentucky Public Service Commission to integrate its system into PJM.
“In the wake of Order No. 2000, issued by the Commission this day 13 years ago, RTOs were formed to “promote efficiency in wholesale electricity markets and to ensure that electricity consumers pay the lowest price possible for reliable service.” While the Commission set forth principles for RTO structure and practices, the RTOs developed their own tariffs and agreements for self-governance, and membership was always voluntary. It is gratifying to see that, over the years, RTO development has been successful such that a variety of entities, from member-owned cooperatives to multi-state investor-owned utilities, have found it to their benefit to pursue membership in established RTOs.
“This has been a big year for new entities joining RTOs, and I look forward to seeing what further developments that the New Year has to bring.