Trump formalizes picks for Interior, EPA and FERC

Source: By Manuel Quiñones, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The White House yesterday sent lawmakers nominations papers for EPA, the Interior Department and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The administration’s action means committees can begin officially considering the president’s picks and setting up confirmation hearings.

Among the most anticipated candidates on energy and environment issues was James Danly. Trump picked the FERC general counsel to serve on the commission.

Danly would give the GOP a majority on the panel, and Democrats are furious the White House appears uninterested in also nominating someone from their party for both picks to be considered in tandem (Energywire, Oct. 1).

Sources indicated Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was willing to hold action on energy legislation in response (E&E News PM, Sept. 20). A hearing on Danly could happen as soon as next week.

Yesterday’s list of nominees also includes Katharine MacGregor, a former Hill staffer with experience on energy issues, for deputy Interior secretary.

MacGregor joined Interior under former Secretary Ryan Zinke, helping oversee the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (Greenwire, Oct. 1).

The president sent the Senate papers for Sean O’Donnell, a Justice Department attorney, to serve as EPA’s inspector general following the departure of Arthur Elkins (Greenwire, Oct. 7).

The White House also nominated Peter Gaynor, who ran the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency from 2015 to 2018, to lead the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The president went with Gaynor after Jeffrey Byard pulled out from consideration last month following concerns related to his background check (Greenwire, Sept. 19).