President Trump plans to nominate Kevin McIntyre to serve as chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). McIntyre currently works in private practice in the energy regulatory sector and has for 30 years. With McIntyre’s nomination, there will be four commissioner candidates in various stages of the nomination and confirmation process.
Following Robert Powelson (R), Neil Chatterjee (R), and Richard Glick (D), McIntyre would be the fourth FERC Commissioner President Trump has chosen to nominate. Powelson and Chatterjee were approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee more than a month ago, but the full Senate has yet to take up the issue or schedule a vote. Meanwhile, the White House has not formally submitted Glick’s name to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources for approval and there has been no hearing scheduled for his nomination.
The delay in proceeding with nominations has led to prolonged uncertainty for a variety of major energy projects because of FERC’s unprecedented lack of a quorum. For the first time in its history, FERC has lacked a quorum since the resignation of former Chairman Norman Bay. Further, acting FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur has been the Commission’s sole member since the end of June, of what is normally a five member commission. As a result, while FERC staff have been taking a series of actions, including issuing information requests for projects, they are limited in their ability to issue major orders such as Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity, with an estimated $4 billion in projects currently sidelined.