Joseph T. Kelliher
Kelliher received his bachelor's degree from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in 1983. In 1994 he graduated with a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Washington College of Law at American University. After law school, Kelliher worked in a private law firm and then on the staff of U.S. Representative Joe Barton, a Republican from Texas. He served briefly as the director of legislative programs for the American Nuclear Energy Council and represented Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSEG) until 1995.
In 1995 he went to work for the U.S. House Committee on Commerce as Republican (majority) counsel for oversight over DOE on electricity, nuclear waste, hydropower, and energy conservation matters. After leaving the Hill in 2000, he briefly reenterred the private practice of law, and also served on the Bush/Cheney Presidential Transition Team in late 2000 and early 2001. Kelliher then went to work for the Department of Energy (DOE) where he served as a senior policy advisor on electricity and other domestic energy issues, including doing staff work for the Energy Task Force.
Kelliher was appointed to FERC by president George W. Bush in October 2001, but did not receive his hearing in front of the Senate committee until 2003. and took office on November 20, 2003. On July 9, 2005 he was appointed chairman, replacing Patrick H. Wood III. During the appointment process there were charges that he enjoyed too cozy a relationship with industry lobbyists and had, as a member of Vice President Richard Cheney's energy task force, helped write President Bush's National Energy Policy in such a way that would be financially beneficial to energy companies at the expense of consumers. Following the Enron scandal he worked to reduce market manipulation and volatility. He created two new divisions at FERC, the Office of Enforcement to investigate violations of FERC requirements, especially as regard to market manipulation, and the Office of Electric Reliability to review and improve the grid's reliability standards. He left FERC in January 2009 to become Executive Vice President for Federal Regulatory Affairs for NextEra Energy, Inc. (FPL Group).
- "Annual Report of the Dean: 2008-2009" American University Washington College of Law, page 89
- "The Honorable Joseph T. Kelliher" The Energy Daily, last accessed December 1, 2010
- "Resolution Honoring Former FERC Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher" National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) February 18, 2009
- Holly, Chris (2003) "Energy Panel Backs FERC Nominee Amid Dissension" The Energy Daily March 13, 2003, subscription required
- Leopold, Jason (July 2, 2005) "Energy Adviser Who Solicited Enron to Help Write Nat’l Energy Policy to Be Named Chair of FERC" CommonDreams.org
- Created under the new Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-58)
- EBR Staff (May 7, 2009) "FPL Group Appoints Joseph Kelliher As EVP Of Federal Regulatory Affairs" Energy Business Review, archived at FreezePage