Little Rock, Ark., May 15, 2012 — Southwest Power Pool announced that U.S. Congressman Mike Ross will join SPP as its senior vice president for government affairs and public relations when his term in Congress ends in January.
Ross was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000 and is serving his sixth term from Arkansas's Fourth Congressional District. He serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Ross announced in July 2011 that he would not seek re-election this year. Prior to his service in the U.S. Congress, Ross served from 1991-2000 in the Arkansas State Senate.
In his new role, Ross will develop and lead SPP's government affairs at the federal level and the nine-state region it serves, and manage public relations for the company.
SPP President and Chief Executive Officer Nick Brown said that Ross' success in leading bipartisan solutions on state and national levels is an excellent fit to the diverse membership in SPP.
"I've known Mike since high school in Hope, Arkansas, and have followed his political career for decades," Brown said. "I can think of no one better to help SPP become more proactive in the state and federal legislative arenas and to raise public awareness of the company. There's no doubt that he will add great value to SPP and our members in helping shape our nation's energy future."
Ross said that public service has always been an important part of his life, and that SPP provides him another avenue to continue to serve the public.
SPP was a founding member of the North American Electric Reliability Corp. in 1968, and was designated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as a regional transmission organization in 2004 and a regional entity in 2007.
SPP interacts with FERC and the Environmental Protection Agency around the issues of regulations and reliability of the bulk electrical systems. Additionally, SPP's Regional Statement Committee, which is a central part of an overall governance structure, is comprised of the state regulators in its footprint.
Founded in 1941, SPP is a group of 66 members in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas that serve more than 15 million customers. Membership is comprised of investor-owned utilities, municipal systems, generation and transmission cooperatives, state authorities, wholesale generators, power marketers and independent transmission companies.
SPP's footprint includes 48,930 miles of transmission lines and 370,000 square miles of service territory. As an RTO, SPP ensures reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure, and competitive wholesale prices of electricity. The SPP RE oversees compliance enforcement and reliability standards development.