Senate Committee Approves New FERC Commissioners

From Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance’s ABRA Update 296, November 19, 2020

Two nominees for vacancies on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) were approved by the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The two nominees, Mark Christie and Allison Clements, had been nominated by President Trump in July.

Mr. Christie, who has been chairman of the Virginia State Corporation Commission for the past 16 years, was nominated to fill the seat of now-departed Commissioner Bernard McNamee, a Republican member. Allison Clements, who is with the Energy Foundation and formerly was an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, was appointed to fill the seat vacated last summer by Cheryl LaFleur, a Democrat.

The committee-approved nominees must now receive a vote of confirmation from the entire U.S. Senate. While approval is anticipated, the Senate has only 15 days of scheduled session remaining. It is not clear when the nominations will come to the Senate floor for a vote.

FERC has been operating with only three members, which is the required quorum. President Trump on November 5 replaced Neil Chatterjee as FERC Chairman with Commissioner Neil Danley, who was appointed to the Commission in March of this year after serving as FERC General Counsel. While Commissioners are appointed to specific terms, the Chairman serves as an appointee of the President. It is anticipated that President-elect Biden will appoint a new Chairman after he takes office on January 20. Sitting Commissioner Richard Glick is reported to be likely named.