Senators to question remaining FERC picks

Source: Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The panel will hold a confirmation hearing on nominees Kevin McIntyre, a Jones Day energy lawyer who has been tapped to lead the commission, and Richard Glick, a Democratic Senate aide.

FERC regained its quorum in the first week of August when the Senate confirmed Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson after more than six months of delay. They joined Cheryl LaFleur, who has been at FERC since 2010.

The lack of quorum, which followed the February resignation of Chairman Norman Bay, left the regulatory body without the ability to approve major projects.

Colleagues and analysts have described McIntyre as a low-key and solid pick to lead FERC, but his policy views largely remain a mystery (Energywire, Aug. 17). This week’s confirmation hearing will be the first time he has spoken publicly since the president nominated him.

Chatterjee, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), is serving as chairman until McIntyre is confirmed, and he wasted no time diving into controversial topics.

His comments on an official agency podcast about coal raised eyebrows, and critics said they portrayed a misunderstanding of FERC’s role and authority (Greenwire, Aug. 15).

FERC has also pushed forward with priorities that stalled during the quorum lapse. Last week commissioners signed off on the $2 billion Nexus pipeline (Greenwire, Aug. 28).