Senate Approves Trump’s Final Two FERC Nominees

On November 2, 2017, the Senate approved Trump’s final two nominees to FERC, giving the Commission the full five members for the first time in two years. New Commissioners, Kevin McIntyre and Richard Glick, join Neil Chatterjee, a former staffer of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Rob Powelson, a former Pennsylvania energy regulator, and Cheryl LaFleur, a Democratic holdover from the Obama administration.

On FERC’s agenda is consideration of a controversial proposal by Energy Secretary Rick Perry to create new rules subsidizing coal and nuclear plants to value the “reliability and resiliency” they offer the electric grid, and now has full membership to vote on that proposal.

According to the Washington Examiner article announcing the appointments, “McIntyre and Glick stressed in their September confirmation hearings that they would adhere to the commission’s basic duties of approving and regulating the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil, without favoring one energy source over another. ‘FERC does not pick fuels among different generating resources, so it’s important it be open to the science and the characteristics of reliability and economics that are important to satisfying the energy needs of our nation,’ McIntyre testified in the Sept. 7 hearing. Chatterjee, meanwhile, has expressed openness to adopting Perry’s proposal in some form. LaFleur and Powelson have reacted more skeptically to Perry’s plan, vowing to maintain the board’s independence.”