Last night, President Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Republicans Neil Chatterjee and Rob Powelson to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC has been operating without a quorum since the departure of former Chairman Norman Bay on February 3, 2017. Last week, Commissioner Collette Honorable announced that she will not seek a second term and will step down once her term expires. President Trump’s intention to nominate two Commissioners will restore quorum to the Commission. However, he will need to nominate two more potential Commissioners, a Democrat and a Republican, to fill the remaining two seats. There is no word on his intentions as to who will be Chairman. Acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur will continue to serve as acting chairman until Mr. Powelson and Mr. Chatterjee are confirmed and seated, and President Trump announces his pick for chairman.
Neil Chatterjee is a senior advisor to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, advising Senator McConnell on energy, environment, natural resources and agriculture. He will bring extensive Hill experience to the Commission, having worked on the Hill in various capacities for over a decade. Chatterjee was instrumental in Senator McConnell’s efforts to scuttle the Clean Power Plan, and is rumored to be the next Chairman of FERC, though at this time, he has been nominated to a Commissioner position. Prior to joining Senator McConnell’s staff, Chatterjee spent two years at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). He is a graduate of Saint Lawrence University and the University of Cincinnati School of Law.
Robert F. Powelson
Robert F. Powelson has served as a Commissioner on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission since 2008. He is the current President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). Prior to joining the PUC, Powelson served as the President of the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry. Commissioner Powelson will bring a state-level perspective to FERC, from a state which belongs to PJM.
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