The Senate has approved two nominees for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission under an unusual political deal in which a FERC staff member will be promoted to lead the commission.
The Senate approved the nominations of Cheryl LaFleur and Norman Bay to serve on the five-member panel, which regulates interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas and oil. Bay is currently director of FERC's enforcement office, while LaFleur has served as acting chairwoman since November.
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President Barack Obama nominated Bay as commission chairman in January, but Senate Republicans objected, saying he lacked the necessary experience. Under a deal with the White House, senators agreed that LaFleur will stay on acting chairwoman for nine months before Bay takes over as chairman.