FERC Commissioner LaFleur to Step Down

On January 31, 2019, Utility Dive reported that Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur will not seek a third term at the agency and will depart later in 2019. She will serve out the remainder of her term, which ends on June 30, but could stay longer if the Senate does not appoint a successor by then.

The Democratic member of the Commission is the longest serving regulator and the only one with experience at an electric utility. She said she would have preferred to serve a third term, but “LaFleur advisor Andrew Holleman said Senate leaders told the commissioner this week she would not be renominated,” and she decided to make her announcement immediately. After her departure, FERC will have only three Commissioners: Democratic Rich Glick and two Republicans, Bernard McNamee and Chairman Neil Chatterjee; Commissioner Kevin McIntyre died on January 2.

No one political party may hold more than three seats on the five-member FERC, so the White House would have to nominate a Democrat and Republican to fill the two vacancies. No names have been proposed at this time. “If the Senate does not confirm a replacement for LaFleur, federal law allows her to stay on the commission until the end of this Congressional session in 2020. In her series of tweets, the regulator said she would stay on until the end of her term, ‘and probably longer, depending on my future plans and the possible appointment of a successor.'”