FARGO – Republican U.S. Sen. John Hoeven wants a swift confirmation for state Public Service Commissioner Tony Clark, who’s nomination to the federal energy board went before a Senate committee today.
Hoeven said Clark is “an ideal candidate” for the open spot on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The vacancy on the bipartisan board must be filled by a Republican.
President Obama nominated Clark for the position in January, but the Senate must confirm the appointment.
“Tony Clark has the knowledge and background to make tremendous contributions to our national energy discussions and will serve well as a member of the FERC,” Hoeven said in an official statement. “North Dakota has benefitted greatly from his leadership and Tony has great knowledge and understanding of energy issues. We highly recommend him to this national position, and I urge the Senate to act quickly to confirm Tony as a member of the commission.”
Clark, a former Fargo legislator and state labor commissioner, has served on the North Dakota Public Service Commission since 2000. He isn’t seeking re-election to his seat this year.
Clark said today’s hearing was “a good opportunity to talk to the Senate today, talk a little about the big issues that are coming up in energy, especially in front of the FERC: issues with regard to liability and affordability for consumers.”
In addressing the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Clark discussed his credentials and experience, which he would bring to FERC.
Clark’s nearly 12-year tenure on North Dakota’s PSC has coincided with North Dakota’s surging oil boom in the western Oil Patch, as well as major advancements in wind energy, electric transmission lines, clean coal technology and biofuels.
“What a difference a few years has made in the life of my home state,” Clark said at the hearing. “North Dakota has truly become an example of an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy state.”
As a member of the PSC, Clark said he’s helped authorize about $6 billion in energy infrastructure projects in North Dakota.
“Having a hands-on experience in helping to regulate and shape energy policy during this period of rapid change has given me insights into both the opportunities and the challenges associated with energy development, and it’s this unique experience that I hope to bring to the commission, should I be confirmed,” Clark said.