Biden hands FERC gavel to Richard Glick

Source: By Jeremy Dillon, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, January 21, 2021

President Biden appointed Democrat Richard Glick today to chair the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Glick, who’s been on the commission since 2017, is now leading a five-member panel that will tilt 2-3 for Republicans until at least June.

“I am honored that President Biden has shown the confidence in me to lead the agency at this critical moment in time,” Glick said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing working with my fellow commissioners and the exemplary FERC staff to pursue the Commission’s important statutory missions.”

For most of the past two years, Glick has served as the lone dissenting voice to a series of fossil fuel infrastructure project approvals advanced by the Republicans. FERC’s other Democrat is Commissioner Allison Clements, who was installed last month.

Glick is likely to place climate change and the energy sector’s transition to a clean energy electric mix front and center into the commission’s priorities, especially as it relates to greenhouse gas emission accounting and FERC’s environmental review process.

In announcing the news, he pointed to the Biden administration’s start as “an important moment to make significant progress on the transition to a clean energy future.”

Glick has expressed interest in revamping how FERC approaches transmission siting incentives and regulations. An improved transmission network could help bring on more renewable resources to the grid. He will also lead efforts on the commission about access for renewable resources to capacity markets under the “minimum offer price rule.”

“In the coming months FERC will be at the forefront of efforts of ensure that clean energy gets a chance to compete on a fair playing field, and there’s no one better person to lead the commission than Richard Glick,” said John Moore, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Sustainable FERC Project.

Glick takes the gavel from Republican Commissioner James Danly, who had a short tenure. He took the reins from Commissioner Neil Chatterjee late last year due to differences between the former Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) staffer and Trump administration officials about his involvement with carbon pricing.

Chatterjee has teamed up with Glick on a series of clean energy market proposals, including a statement of support for FERC’s ability to consider state inspired carbon pricing, the ability for aggregated distributed energy sources to bid into wholesale markets and market barriers for energy storage technology.

“With [Glick] at the helm, FERC is in great hands,” Chatterjee tweeted. “Congrats Mr. Chairman! Looking forward to working with you and your stellar team on the many challenges and opportunities facing the energy sector.”