Former Greens lawmaker vying to lead Germany’s energy regulator – report

BERLIN, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Klaus Mueller, the chairman of Germany’s main consumer association, which has links to the Green party, will lead energy regulator Bundesnetzagentur, a senior official said on Wednesday. politics at the Handelsblatt.

The agency is in charge of regulation in the energy, telecoms and rail sectors and is involved in the certification of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The current president of the agency is due to leave at the end of February.

Olaf Lies, Lower Saxony’s environment and energy minister, told the Handelsblatt that Mueller, who has headed the federation of consumer organizations VZBV since 2014, would take the closely watched stance.

The Economy Ministry oversees the regulator, although Germany’s ruling coalition must agree to confirm a candidate for the agency. The Handelsblatt reported that the coalition parties agreed the Greens had the right to nominate a name.

Mueller has ties to the Greens party, which shares power with the Social Democrats (SPD) and pro-business Free Democrats. The Greens are more skeptical of Nord Stream 2 than the SPD.

Mueller was a Green member of the German parliament; between 2000 and 2005 he was Minister of the Environment in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein.

In November, the energy regulator suspended the approval process for Nord Stream 2, saying the consortium behind it needed to set up a German subsidiary to comply with European energy regulations. Read more

After ten years as President of the Bundesnetzagentur, Jochen Homann’s mandate ends at the end of February.

A spokesman for the economy ministry declined to comment on the report.

Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Aurora Ellis

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