Points of Procedure
Trump Names Chatterjee FERC Chairman, Commission Regains Quorum
Published: August 10, 2017 at 02:37:00 EDT
On Aug. 10, 2017, President Trump named Neil Chatterjee to be Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC, or the Commission).
Chatterjee was sworn in as Commissioner on Aug. 8, 2017. Before joining FERC, Chatterjee was energy policy advisor to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Also on Aug. 10, 2017, Robert F. Powelson was sworn in as a FERC Commissioner. Powelson was a Commissioner and former Chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
Before Chatterjee and Powelson joined FERC, Cheryl LaFleur was the only remaining Commissioner on the normally five-member Commission. FERC lost its quorum on Feb. 3, 2017, when former Chairman Norman Bay resigned, leaving only two members: LaFleur and Colette Honorable. Honorable left the Commission at the end of June.
On June 28, 2017, Trump announced his intent to name Richard Glick to the Commission. Glick is General Counsel for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
In July, Trump named Kevin McIntyre to be a FERC Commissioner, and announced his intent to designate McIntyre as Chairman. McIntyre is an attorney with the law firm of Jones Day.
The Senate has yet to confirm Glick or McIntyre.
Chatterjee said he is “honored that President Trump has designated me as Chairman of the Commission until Kevin McIntyre is confirmed, and I am eager to take on this responsibility. I look forward to working with Commissioner LaFleur and Commissioner Powelson on behalf of the American people. And I hope that we will have all five Commissioners here soon with the confirmation of Kevin McIntyre and Rich Glick.”
Chatterjee also thanked Acting Chairman LeFleur "for the tremendous work she's done in guiding the agency. The absence of a quorum was unprecedented, yet she rose to the challenge and created stability through her unwavering leadership."
With its newly re-established quorum, FERC can begin to deal with a sizeable backlog of petitions and applications, including a number of requests for authorization to construct and operate interstate natural gas pipelines. FERC announced that it will resume its monthly open meeting schedule in September, with a meeting set for Sept. 20, 2017. Chatterjee said the Commission will soon begin voting notationally on the orders that have been held up since February. The limited additional authority FERC delegated to its staff during the loss of quorum will end 14 days following the date the quorum is re-established.
Chatterjee Named FERC Chairman, FERC News Release (Aug. 10, 2017).