Reid appointments scrutinized

The Wall Street Journal this week reported that U.S. Sen. Harry Reid's efforts to shape the membership of the obscure Federal Energy Regulatory Commission “have roiled an agency that, like other federal regulatory bodies, is supposed to be independent from Congress and the executive branch.”

FERC, formerly chaired by Nevadan Jon Wellinghoff, oversees utility transmission tariffs and is a source of concern to renewable energy firms Reid is trying to herd to Nevada. Democrat Reid was caustic when a WSJ reporter asked him about his efforts to pack the commission with members friendly to Nevada.

“Wow, that is amazing, that a majority leader who has a responsibility of selecting people would have some opinion as to who he suggests to the White House,” he said.