Head of federal energy regulatory body stepping down after 4 years as chairman

WASHINGTON – The head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is resigning.

A spokesman says FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff submitted his resignation letter to President Barack Obama on late Tuesday. Wellinghoff will remain at the commission until a replacement is nominated and confirmed by the Senate. He will continue as chairman and vote on matters before the commission.

Wellinghoff, a former Nevada utility regulator, has served as chairman of the energy panel since 2009 and has been a commission member since 2006.

FERC is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil.

Senate Energy Committee Chairman Ron Wyden of Oregon says that Wellinghoff launched important investigations to protect consumers from manipulation of energy markets and pushed to increase renewable energy supplies.