November 21, 2013 -
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) released the following statement after Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Jon Wellinghoff announced his decision to resign:
“This was the right decision. Chairman Wellinghoff should have left FERC as soon as he accepted his new job. It was completely inappropriate for him to continue to work at the FERC while continuing to influence decisions that affect his new employer. His resignation will help restore the public’s confidence in the integrity of the Commission’s decisions and lift the cloud over the agency as a whole,” said Barrasso.
On November 7th, Barrasso sent a letter to Chairman Wellinghoff and called on him to explain how he could serve at FERC while also participating in matters that affect his future employer’s clients.
“FERC is an independent agency. Independent agencies must exercise expert judgment free of even the appearance of undue political influence. All individuals serving at FERC must exhibit the utmost impartiality. For that reason, I ask you to explain, in detail, all the matters from which you have recused and will recuse yourself as well as your reasoning for not recusing yourself from any matters that would affect Stoel Rives’ current or future clients. Until you do so, FERC will have difficulty in retaining the public’s confidence in the integrity of its decisions,” wrote Barrasso.
For the full text of the letter click here.
On November 21, 2013, Chaiman Wellinghoff responded to Sen. Barrasso's inquiry with this letter.
On April 10, 2014, Senator Barrasso asked FERC to confirm for the record that Chairman Wellinghoff did not recuse himself from rulemakings between July 3, 2013, the date he entered employment discussions with Stoel Rives, L.L.P., and November 24, 2013, the date of his resignation from FERC. On May 8, 2014, FERC confirmed in a written response to Senator Barrasso that Chairman Wellinghoff did not recuse himself from rulemakings during that time.