WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) voted in the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to advance the nomination of Norman C. Bay to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner nominee Estevan López. Both of the president's nominees are New Mexico natives.
Bay's nomination was voted out of committee 13 to nine and López's unanimously. President Obama has indicated that he intends to designate Bay to be the chairman of FERC once he is confirmed. Their nominations will move forward for a final Senate confirmation vote at a later date.
"I believe Mr. Bay will be an outstanding member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Mr. Bay's extensive experience will help address our energy challenges in New Mexico and across the country. I am very confident he will judiciously implement the laws focused on FERC's statutory responsibilities of energy infrastructure, competitive markets, and reliability," said Sen. Heinrich. "Mr. Bay has received strong bipartisan support, including the backing of former senators Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman. His nomination should not get caught up in politics that have nothing to do with his qualifications for this important post. I supported Mr. Bay's nomination before the committee and I look forward to voting for his confirmation."
"I'm pleased the committee recognizes Estevan López's qualifications to lead the Bureau of Reclamation," said Sen. Heinrich. "With the western United States experiencing extreme weather conditions and water levels decreasing to dangerously low levels in nearly every river basin, having a skilled and experienced commissioner is more important than ever. I look forward to supporting Mr. López when his confirmation goes to the Senate for a floor vote."