Reviewing the FERC chairman's first year, and what he might do next.
This September, Pat Wood III completed his first year as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Some long-time FERC watchers gave Fortnightly some insights into how this chairman has performed so far, and what we might expect from him in the future.
For starters, one former FERC commissioner rates Wood's performance so far as "damn good." The former FERC commissioner says, "He did the right things before Congress, which was investigating whether FERC acted properly in addressing the California crisis. Congress could have fried eggs on his forehead. But he had that trusting, happy homeboy Texas look that won them over, and he stuck to his guns."
On a policy front, this former FERC commissioner says, Wood wisely has not let state-level opponents defeat either his standard market design (SMD), or his movement forward from the 1992 Energy Policy Act. Certainly, it is Mr. Wood's activist nature that has won many supporters.
One high-powered attorney admires the chairman's efforts in trying to pull together 10 years of FERC initiatives, and in trying to bring clarity to energy commodity markets by attempting to develop standardization and market monitoring.
"We don't agree with everything," she admits. "But we commend him [for] thinking about extremely complex issues in the most trying of possible times in the energy markets, [with] the fallout from the trading and related disasters from the Enron situation."