Trump picks Jones Day lawyer to chair FERC

Source: Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, July 14, 2017

President Trump announced last night that he plans to nominate Kevin McIntyre, an energy lawyer at the firm Jones Day, to chair the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

McIntyre would be the fourth commissioner chosen for FERC by Trump, following Senate aides Neil Chatterjee and Richard Glick, and Pennsylvania regulator Robert Powelson.

McIntyre, who has degrees from San Diego State University and the Georgetown University Law Center, is co-leader of the global energy practice at Jones Day. He has represented Exelon Corp. and natural gas companies before FERC in the past, and one analyst called him a “lawyer’s lawyer” (Greenwire, May 9).

If confirmed, he will take over leadership of the commission from acting Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur, who told E&E News yesterday that the agency has been working hard to prepare for the arrival of new commissioners though it lacks the quorum necessary to make major decisions (Greenwire, July 13).

FERC has been without a quorum since February, when Chairman Norman Bay resigned. Colette Honorable departed from the agency on June 30, leaving LaFleur temporarily alone on the five-member body.

Powelson and Chatterjee have been advanced by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and are waiting to be confirmed by the full Senate, while Glick, the lone Democratic pick, has yet to be officially nominated by the president.

FERC typically maintains a 3-2 party split; Glick would join LaFleur as a Democrat on the commission, with Powelson, Chatterjee and McIntyre representing the Republican camp.

Democrats may require Glick to be confirmed along with Chatterjee and Powelson, potentially prolonging the absence of a quorum, which has frustrated pipeline developers whose projects need approval from the agency (E&E Daily, July 11).

The White House has complained in recent weeks about Democrats obstructing the movement of nominees, but the Senate is unable to act on Glick until it formally receives his nomination.