Norman Bay

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Norman Bay
U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico
In office
September 8, 2000 – October 15, 2001
Succeeded by David Iglesias
Personal details
Born 1960 (age 56–57)
Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, U.S.
Nationality Chinese-American

Norman C. Bay (born 1960 in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois) is a former United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico. Bay was the first Chinese-American United States Attorney. Bay is the former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.[1]


Bay was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and graduated from Albuquerque Academy. He attended Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School. After law school, he clerked for Judge Otto R. Skopil, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He then worked in the Legal Adviser’s Office of the U.S. State Department. From 1989 to 2000, he was a federal prosecutor (an Assistant U.S. Attorney) in the District of Columbia and in New Mexico. Before becoming the United States Attorney, he was a supervisor of the Violent Crime Section in New Mexico. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, he tried cases in D.C. Superior Court, and U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia and New Mexico. He also has extensive experience in appellate advocacy and has argued a number of cases in the D.C. Court of Appeals, the D.C. Circuit, and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that have resulted in reported opinions.[2]

Recent employment[edit]

Attorney General Janet Reno named Bay as the Interim U.S. Attorney in New Mexico on March 8, 2000. At the time Bay was named Interim U.S. Attorney, he was a supervisor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Mexico and had been an Assistant U.S. Attorney for more than a decade. President Bill Clinton nominated Bay to the Senate on May 25, 2000, and the Senate unanimously confirmed Bay on September 8, 2000.

As United States Attorney in New Mexico, Bay inherited the Wen Ho Lee case, which had been charged before Bay took office. This case involved a Chinese-American scientist accused of mishandling nuclear secrets. Six months after Bay became Interim U.S. Attorney, the case was resolved through a plea agreement. At the hearing, Judge James Parker criticized other top government officials but called Bay an "outstanding" member of the Bar whom he held in the "highest regard."[3]

After his successor, David Iglesias, was confirmed by the Senate, Bay resigned as U.S. Attorney on October 15, 2001.[4]

In the spring of 2002, Bay began teaching at the University of New Mexico School of Law. He became a tenured Professor of Law, and his subjects included Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, and Evidence. His scholarship interests included National Security Law and Criminal Procedure, and he wrote in both of those areas.[2]

Since 2009, Bay has been the Director of Enforcement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C. Under his direction, the Office of Enforcement created an innovative Division of Analytics and Surveillance, which uses algorithms to detect potential market manipulation.[5] Transparency into enforcement was also increased through the adoption of penalty guidelines,[6] the Brady Policy,[7] and Notices of Alleged Violations.[8] The Office of Enforcement brought a series of high-profile enforcement actions for market manipulation and other violations that resulted in almost a billion dollars in recoveries for consumers and the United States.[9] According to Reuters, "FERC’s Office of Enforcement, run by Norman Bay, has stepped up its game lately, taking the lead among regulators in cracking down on trades that cross both physical and financial markets."[10] In 2013, a prominent energy trade journal named Bay as one of the top ten most influential people in energy.[11]

Harvard Professor William Hogan expressed concern about FERC's Office of Enforcement's practices. Professor Hogan said the Office's practices were "alarming" and could "unravel" the power markets.[12] In its case against the FERC, Deutsche Bank stated that FERC's views were "radical."[13]

On January 30, 2014, Bay was nominated by President Obama as Commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and upon appointment to be made Chairman of the Commission.[1] His nomination was received warmly by many members of Congress. Senator Tom Udall issued a press release praising Bay's nomination and stating ""Norman is an outstanding example of excellence in public service."[14] Senator Martin Heinrich stated ""Norman Bay is an admired public servant with outstanding credentials to lead the FERC," in his release.[15] Senator Dianne Feinstein in her press release stated, "Norman Bay’s market oversight unit at FERC has taken significant actions to crack down on the type of Wall Street energy speculation and market abuse that led to the energy crisis and allowed traders to rob American consumers and darken cities. He has used authority that I worked to pass in 2005—prohibiting fraud and manipulation in electricity and natural gas markets—in order to catch major financial institutions manipulating California’s electricity markets... Norman Bay is an excellent choice to be the next chairman of FERC. He has proven to be a champion for America’s energy ratepayers, and I urge the Senate to swiftly confirm him."[16]

Senator Lisa Murkowski expressed concern about Mr. Bay's nomination by citing an article in the Energy Law Journal that states "widespread view that the FERC enforcement practice has been lopsided and unfair" along with allegations in a Wall Street Journal editorial that suggests Mr. Bay's office is guilty of "bullying or perhaps worse." [17]

Senator Angus King also expressed concern about Mr. Bay's nomination. Senator King referred to recent opinion articles in The Wall Street Journal and the Energy Law Journal alleging that Bay has taken an aggressive stance toward alleged manipulation, at times withholding evidence that is helpful to the targets of enforcement cases. "There have been several articles written about his conduct. Those articles are consistent with my impressions," Senator King said.[18]

On May 20, 2014, Bay appeared before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for his confirmation hearing. Bay was introduced by former Republican Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Pete Domenici (R-N) and Senate Energy Committee member Martin Heinrich (D-NM).[19] The former Energy Chairman testified, "The job that he is seeking demands somebody just like him," Domenici said. "And obviously I would urge that this Committee support him. "I'm not a great fan of the President of the United States and people know that, but I think this is a great appointment. So I am on his side on this. I don't see how you can miss."[20]

On June 18, 2014, the Committee approved Bay to lead FERC and he was voted out of committee 13-9.[21] He was subsequently confirmed by the Senate 52-45 on July 15, 2014.[22]

On July 18, 2014, Senator Casey (D-PA) sent a letter to the Department of Energy Inspector General ('DOE IG') to ensure that FERC be properly and fairly conducting investigations and taking enforcement actions.[23] On July 24, Kevin Gates from Powhatan Energy Fund sent a letter to the DOE IG asking him to research whether FERC OE uses inappropriate and discriminatory behavior based upon political, economic and sexual factors.[24] On September 12, 2014, Senators Collins and Barrasso sent a letter to the DOE IG asking him to determine facts related to allegations surrounding the FERC enforcement program with respect to fairness and transparency.[25]


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  2. ^ a b "Norman Bay professor profile". University of New Mexico Law School. 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2007-04-03. 
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