Ex-FERC Commissioner Tony Clark takes advisory position at energy law firm
- Former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark will join Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP in January as a senior advisor, the Washington, D.C.,-based energy firm announced.
- Clark announced his departure from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in January, and left in September. Since then, the commission has operated with three Democratic members.
- Clark, a Republican, spent four years at FERC and was a vocal skeptic of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan.
Clark's decision to join Wilkinson Barker Knauer follows a rich tradition of federal regulators heading into the energy law and lobbying sector. He now intends to split his time between the firm's Washington, D.C., office and its facility in Denver.
Clark said the firm's energy and telecom practices "provide a perfect platform for me," to work in "ever-evolving industries." His decision follows FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff's move three years ago to join Stoel Rives LLP (the former chairman is now at SolarCity as Chief Policy Officer). And former FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller left the agency in October 2015, to work with the Edison Electric Institute.
Before working at FERC, Clark was elected to two six-year terms as at the North Dakota Public Service Commission, and chaired the agency for five years.
Bryan Tramont, managing partner of Wilkinson Barker Knauer, called Clark a "thought leader in federal and state regulatory policy." He will begin working with the firm on Jan. 3.
While the fate of Obama's Clean Power Plan now seems in jeopardy with the election of Republican Donald Trump, Clark had argued the timeline to reduce carbon emissions was too quick and could threaten reliability. In 2014, he advocated for FERC to have a role in ensuring the regulations did not challenge grid reliability.
"There's got to be somebody who takes a look at it from the 20,000-foot level and can say, 'Wait a second, what you're telling these utilities to do over here doesn't work over there, and it's going to cause reliability problems,'" he said.
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