Senate to vote on DOE nominee; Trump submits FERC picks

Source: Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Senate’s blitz on confirmations continues today with a noon vote slated on insurance executive Dan Brouillette’s nomination to the No. 2 slot at the Department of Energy.

The DOE deputy secretary pick passed through the Energy and Natural Resources Committee last month, but his confirmation was reportedly held up by Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) over the Trump administration’s plans to resume licensing for the controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada.

Meanwhile, President Trump formally nominated Kevin McIntyre, an energy lawyer at the firm Jones Day, and Richard Glick, a Democratic Senate aide, to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The two will have to face the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee before they can be voted on by the full chamber. The panel has scheduled a Sept. 7 hearing on the duo, as well as Joseph Balash to be assistant Interior secretary for land and minerals management. If confirmed, McIntyre would chair FERC.

Glick’s nomination could clear the way for two other FERC nominees, Pennsylvania regulator Robert Powelson and Senate Republican aide Neil Chatterjee, to be confirmed by the Senate this week.

Energy and pipeline industry leaders have been urging the Senate to move forward to restore a quorum to FERC, which has been unable to finalize major decisions since Chairman Norman Bay resigned in February (E&E Daily, July 11).

But Democrats had wanted to see the nomination of Glick, their pick for the traditionally bipartisan agency, officially sent to the Senate, which finally happened last night.

With a large spate of nominees for various positions still waiting for confirmation, it is unclear whether the FERC nominees will be approved before the Senate leaves for its August recess, which could happen as soon as this week.