FERC Commissioner Norm Bay Targets M-U on Way Out the Door

Looks to us like Donald Trump’s faith in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur was well-placed. As we previously noted, Trump has put LaFluer in charge of the agency as Chairman, which caused the existing Chairman of FERC, Norm Bay, to resign in a huff (see FERC Commissioner Resigns Threatening Major M-U Pipeline Projects). LaFleur has been a FERC Commissioner since 2010 and was, at one time, the Chairman. Norm Bay was elevated by then-President Obama to become chairman, knocking LaFluer out of that role. Did she quit in a huff? No. She’s an adult. (By the way, both LaFleur and Bay are Democrats, so this isn’t a party thing.) When the shoe was on the other foot, Norm decided to take his marbles and go home, potentially damaging a bevy of important pipeline projects. With only two Commissioners left out of five slots, there isn’t a quorum and votes cannot be taken–until Trump gets new nominees approved. LaFleur has gotten more done in the past week that she’s been in charge than Bay got done over the past year–at least with respect to approving Marcellus/Utica projects (witness five key projects receiving approvals last Thursday/Friday that we’ve written about today). In one of the decisions issued by FERC last Friday, Bay got a final dig in on the Marcellus/Utica region by calling on FERC to exceed its constitutional authority and “analyze the environmental effects of increased regional gas production from the Marcellus and Utica” shale regions. Apparently Bay thinks there may be too many pipelines getting built, and he’s worried about man-made global warming, among other lefty things…

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