President Trump formally nominated on May 10 two new members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). They are:
- Neil Chatterjee (for a term expiring June 30, 2021) is energy policy advisor to United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. In that capacity, he serves as the Leader’s liaison to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the Committee on Environment and Public Works and the Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Nutrition. Prior to serving Leader McConnell he worked as a Principal in Government Relations for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and as an aide to House Republican Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce of Ohio. He began his career in Washington with the House Committee on Ways and Means. He is a graduate of St. Lawrence University and the University of Cincinnati College of Law. More on Chatterjee here.
- Robert F. Powelson (for a term expiring June 30, 2020) has been a member of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) since 2008. He was elected President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners on November 15, 2016. In 2011, Pennsylvania Governor Corbett (R) appointed Powelson as a member of the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission. Previously, he served as the President of the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry. From 1990-91, Powelson served as a Staff Assistant to Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA). More on Powelson
Continuing on the Commission will be Cheryl LaFleur, who is currently serving as Acting Chairman. The second sitting Commissioner, Collette Honorable, whose term expires on June 30, did not seek reappointment. She has indicated she is willing to stay on until her successor is seated. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will be conduct confirmation hearings whenever they occur. With the departure of Commissioner Honorable, both Mr. Chatterjee and Mr. Powelson will need to be confirmed before FERC will once again have a quorum to enable it to approve pending projects. Given the Senate schedule over the next several months and other uncertainties, it is not clear when confirmation consideration for the two nominees will begin.