Today, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on the President’s nominations of Kevin McIntyre, an energy lawyer at Jones Day, to serve as Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and Richard Glick, Minority Counsel for the Senate Energy Committee, to serve as a Commissioner. As you may recall, FERC has lacked a quorum since Chairman Norman Bay’s departure in early February, which has prevented action on a number of items. The confirmations of Acting Chair Neil Chatterjee and Rob Powelson in early August provided the commission with the quorum needed to begin to take action on the backlog of permit approvals, FERC Orders, and again hold monthly meetings.
The hearing began with Chairman Murkowski (R-AK) expressing her support for the nominations and urging quick action on the nominees. In his testimony, Mr. McIntyre communicated his commitment to processes that are open, transparent and fair. In response to a question from Ranking Member Cantwell (D-WA), Mr. McIntyre also expressed his commitment to ensuring just and reasonable rates for electricity and natural gas, and to protecting consumers against market manipulation. During Mr. Glick’s opening statement, he communicated that FERC’s decisions can have a significant impact on the lives of everyday Americans. He stated that the Commission’s inability to “come together on a unified response during the height of the western energy crisis in 2000 caused consumers to pay more for electricity and natural gas than they should have” and committed to, if confirmed, working with fellow Commissioners to safeguard the public’s interests.
The next step will be a Committee vote on the nominees, and if they are approved in Committee, the nominations will be taken to the Senate floor.
APGA leadership meets with the FERC Commissioners twice a year to communicate information and positions on federal regulatory matters of concern to public gas systems. The next meeting will occur later this year. These meetings play a critical role in APGA’s advocacy efforts, as they have allowed APGA to develop and maintain a relationship with the Commissioners.
If you have any questions regarding this article or on APGA’s regulatory advocacy efforts, please contact Dave Schryver of APGA’s staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at email@example.com