FERC Quorum to be restored Monday

Source: Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission officially will be back to a voting quorum next week, after more than six months without enough commissioners to sign off on major decisions.

New member Robert Powelson will be sworn in Monday, he told the Daily Local News, his hometown paper in Chester County, Pa.

His fellow new commissioner, Neil Chatterjee, began work at the agency yesterday (Greenwire, Aug. 8).

With the pair joining acting Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur, a quorum — which FERC has been lacking since the resignation of former Chairman Norman Bay in February — will finally be restored. The agency is expected to immediately begin acting on a backlog of decisions, some of which are necessary for major natural gas pipeline and hydropower projects to move forward.

Powelson, who currently serves on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, also told the Daily Local Newsthat he will be commuting to work in Washington from his home in Kennett Square, Pa.

“A modern-day Joe Biden,” he called himself, referring to the former vice president and senator’s famous habit of commuting from Delaware.

FERC will not be back to its full five-member strength until after the current congressional recess. A Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee confirmation hearing is scheduled Sept. 7 for Jones Day lawyer Kevin McIntyre, whom President Trump tapped to lead the agency, and Democratic Senate aide Richard Glick.