The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on May 25, 2017 to decide on whether to recommend the confirmation of two presidential appointees to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission). On May 10, 2017, the President nominated Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to serve as FERC commissioners.
Neil Chatterjee is a senior energy advisor to Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, and Robert Powelson is a member of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.
Next week, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hear testimony from these two nominees and supporting witnesses, if any. The Committee will then hold a vote on whether to recommend that the full Senate approve the nominees. The full Senate will then proceed with a vote to approve or reject each of the nominations. The Senate committee hearing can be accessed here
Currently, there are only two commissioners at FERC, which has left it without a quorum since former FERC Chairman Norman Bay resigned on February 3, 2017. The Commission requires at least three commissioners to constitute a quorum and exercise its full authority. Until a quorum is reconstituted, the Commission itself will not be able to take final action on new or existing rate filings, act on new or proposed rules, requests for rehearing (other than the issuance of tolling orders), and contested settlement agreements. FERC staff has been conducting daily work under a Delegated Order, issued by former Chairman Bay and two current commissioners, Acting Chair LaFleur and Commissioner Honorable, to fulfill certain statutory and regulatory obligations until a quorum can be re-established. The Delegation Order provides Commission staff the authority to accept and suspend certain filings and to make them effective, subject to refund and subject either to further Commission order or hearing and settlement judge procedures. For more information on the Delegation Order, please see here
For additional information, please contact Bob Weinberg
, Jeff Genzer
, Thomas Rudebusch
, Michael Postar
, Pete Scanlon
, or Lisa Gast