Senate Confirms Danly as FERC Commissioner

On October 2, 2019, The Washington Post reported that Trump had broken with tradition by tapping only a Republican for a vacancy as a Commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). “President Trump finally chose a new Republican commissioner for a key panel of federal energy regulators. But he did so without naming a Democrat to go with him, setting off a potential battle with Senate Democrats over the future of renewable energy and gas pipeline projects across the country. …. [T]he White House announced the president intends to nominate James Danly to be a commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Danly, a Republican, currently serves as the panel’s general counsel and would fill a vacancy left by the death in January of former FERC chairman Kevin J. McIntyre. If confirmed by the Senate, Danly would serve until 2023. But Trump’s White House broke with decades-old tradition by not nominating a Democrat along with Danly, provoking the ire of Senate Democrats who charge Trump with potentially tilting the balance of the normally bipartisan commission.”

Now, on March 4, 2020, Utility Dive reports that “The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 12-8 to confirm James Danly to FERC, giving the now-four person commission a 3-1 Republican majority. Commissioner Bernard McNamee announced in January he would not be seeking a second term on commission, meaning a new spot could be open as soon as June. …. Manchin [Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.], who serves as ENR Ranking Member, voted in favor of the nomination, but said he would not do so if the situation arose again. ‘I made a commitment to Danly before because I thought he was well-qualified,’ he told Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, who expressed his frustrations immediately after the vote. ‘But I will make this commitment to you. If we do not get a pairing when McNamee comes off … I’ll make my statement known: If we don’t get a pairing we’re not voting.'”