Former FERC commissioner joins D.C. law firm

Source: Hannah Northey • E&E • Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012

A former Republican member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has joined Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s energy practice

Marc Spitzer will work in the firm’s Washington, D.C., headquarters on electric transmission, smart grid, exports of liquefied natural gas, pipeline safety and hydraulic fracturing. The firm has more than 500 lawyers and offices in China, Belgium and England.

Spitzer resigned from FERC last month after his five-year term expired on June 30, 2011. Spitzer was a George W. Bush appointee who helped implement the 2005 Energy Policy Act and was involved in commission efforts to revamp transmission planning and cost allocation.

Before joining FERC, Spitzer served six years as a commissioner on the Arizona Corporation Commission, the agency responsible for regulating electric, gas and telecommunications utilities in the state. He served as the commission’s chairman from 2003 to 2005. Spitzer was also elected to the Arizona state Senate in 1993 and has a law degree from the University of Michigan.

“Marc’s experience as both a legislator and commissioner, and as a lawyer in private practice, gives him a unique perspective that will greatly benefit our electric power and energy clients,” said Roger Warin, the firm’s chairman.

Possible replacements for Spitzer at FERC include Tony Clark, the former president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and chairman of the North Dakota Public Service Commission, and Patrick McCormick III, special counsel for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s ranking Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska (Greenwire, Dec. 13, 2011).