President Obama tapped Colette Honorable, the Democratic utility regulatory chief in Arkansas who has earned praise from both sides of the aisle in Washington, as nominee for commissioner at the federal electric grid regulator.

If confirmed by the Senate, Honorable would replace former Democratic commissioner John Norris at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

In addition to her role as chairwoman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission, Honorable has been a frequent Washington visitor in her capacity as president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

Honorable has endeared herself to conservatives by voicing the concerns of her members, who are all utility regulators, about potential blackouts and adjustments that must be made to meet various Obama administration environmental regulations.

NARUC Executive Director Charles Gray, noting Honorable's departure from his organization may be imminent, called the news "bittersweet."

"President Honorable has gone above and beyond in her service since joining the association in 2008. If confirmed, we will miss her enthusiasm, dedication, and leadership she has brought from day one," he said.