Trump picks Chatterjee as chairman

Source: Hannah Northey and Rod Kuckro, E&E News reporters • Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2018

President Trump has designated Republican Neil Chatterjee as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The president announced his intent tonight, ending weeks of speculation that Kevin McIntyre, the agency’s current chairman, would relinquish his leadership role (Greenwire, Oct. 18).

He did that in a Monday letter to President Trump that FERC released tonight. In 2017, McIntyre had surgery for a cancerous brain tumor (Energywire, March 12).

“I very recently experienced a more serious health setback, leaving me currently unable to perform the duties of Chairman with the level of focus that the position demands and that FERC and the American people deserve,” McIntyre wrote. “I therefore propose to step aside from the position of Chairman and its additional duties so that I can commit myself fully to my work as Commissioner, while undergoing the treatment necessary to address my health issues.”

Chatterjee served briefly as FERC chairman from August 2017 until that December, when McIntyre was sworn in.

He has been standing in frequently for McIntyre, including yesterday at the meeting of the Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee.

Several weeks ago, he was named as McIntyre’s replacement to deliver the closing keynote address at the Energy Bar Association’s Mid-Year Energy Forum in Washington on Tuesday after McIntyre canceled.

McIntyre was last seen in public in his capacity as FERC chairman at the July 19 open meeting. He did record a podcast Sept. 11 to discuss liquefied natural gas developments at FERC.

Trump nominated Bernard McNamee to fill the vacant seat left by the exit of Robert Powelson. The Senate is expected to take up the nomination after the midterm elections.