Sole Republican member to step down next month

Source: By Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, August 5, 2016

Tony Clark, a Republican member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, today announced he will leave the agency next month.

“After 4+ years on FERC, I’m announcing today that the September Commission meeting will be my last,” Clark tweeted.

Clark’s departure will leave the commission with three sitting Democratic members, a rarity that could affect which issues are brought up for a vote at the agency.

He first announced in January that he would step down and not seek a second five-year term at FERC, ending 16 years as a state and federal electricity regulator. Clark’s current term expired at the end of June (Greenwire, Jan. 21).

Clark’s departure comes after Philip Moeller, who had been the commission’s other Republican member, stepped down in October to work for the Edison Electric Institute (ClimateWire, Jan. 22).

“Public service has been an honor, but these aren’t meant to be forever jobs,” Clark tweeted. “Looking forward to next chapter, whatever that may be.”

Much like Moeller, Clark has been a constructive critic of U.S. EPA’s rule to curb carbon emissions from power plants. Under the rule, power-sector emissions would fall 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Clark has argued that the timeline is too speedy a shift away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy, given the electric reliability challenges tied to the transition.

A former chairman of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, Clark was first elected to the North Dakota Public Service Commission in 2000 and was re-elected in 2006.

Clark got his start in public service as a state legislator, representing Fargo for three years. He served in the Cabinet of former Gov. Ed Schafer (R), who went on to become secretary of Agriculture under President George W. Bush.

Clark holds a bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University and a master’s degree from the University of North Dakota.