On August 3, 2017, the Senate confirmed both Neil Chatterjee (R) and Robert Powelson (R) as FERC Commissioners, returning FERC to a quorum after six months.  FERC has been unable to issue major decisions without a quorum, although staff work has continued to work on a variety of fronts, including issuing environmental reviews for various pipeline construction and other energy projects.  The Senate confirmations should be a relief for the energy industry, which has been subject to prolonged uncertainty as major project approvals have been at a standstill since February.

The quorum will be restored as soon as Chatterjee and Powelson are sworn in, which historically has taken from one to three weeks.  The confirmation of the nominations of Chatterjee, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Powelson, a Pennsylvania regulator, brings the Commission to 3 members of what is typically a 5 member Commission.  Trump previously announced nominations of Kevin McIntyre (R), an energy lawyer in private practice, and Richard Glick (D), a Senate aide, for the two remaining vacancies weeks ago, but only nominated them formally this week.  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has scheduled a hearing on those nominations for September 7, 2017.


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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.

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In an effort to resolve the lack of a quorum at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), yesterday President Trump nominated Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to fill Commissioner vacancies.  Mr. Chatterjee is the senior energy advisor to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and previously worked with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.  Mr. Powelson is a current member of the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission and president of National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.  If the nominees are confirmed, FERC will regain a quorum, which it has not had since early February.  Reports have also signaled that Trump is expected to nominate Kevin McIntyre, an energy lawyer in private practice, to serve as the Commission Chairman.

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