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Published May 24 2012

Senate OKs Tony Clark’s FERC nod

WASHINGTON – Republican Tony Clark won’t be regulating North Dakota’s energy industry anymore. He’ll be regulating the nation’s.

The Senate confirmed Clark’s nomination to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by unanimous consent Thursday, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., announced.

Hoeven, a member of the Senate’s energy committee, has been Clark’s most vocal cheerleader for the federal appointment.

“I’m pleased the Senate has confirmed the nomination of Tony Clark to the FERC,” Hoeven said in a statement. “He’s the right person at the right time for the job, and will provide valuable insights and expertise to the FERC.”

Clark was nominated for the vacancy by President Barack Obama in January, and he testified in March before the Senate energy committee.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved his nomination last month, sending the appointment to the Senate floor for final approval.

Clark is a past president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, a former state labor commissioner and a former Fargo legislator.

He was first elected to North Dakota’s Public Service Commission in 2000, and is now the board’s chairman.

Clark decided last year he wouldn’t seek re-election to a fourth term in 2012.

According to North Dakota’s Constitution, Gov. Jack Dalrymple can appoint someone to temporarily fill Clark’s seat on the state board.

Ultimately, voters will choose Clark’s successor in the November election. Republican Randy Christmann, Democrat Brad Crabtree and libertarian Joshua Voytek are running for Clark’s open seat this year.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541

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