Senate Committee Votes to Approve Trump’s FERC Nominees

In May, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a confirmation hearing for two nominees for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (see 5 Climate Jihadists Disrupt Senate FERC Nominee Hearing). Neil Chatterjee, energy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Robert Powelson, a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission member and president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, were put through their paces, questioned by Senators for two hours. Yesterday the Senate committee members voted 20-3 to send these well-qualified men up for a vote from the entire Senate. Three far-left (frankly kooky) Democrats voted against: Crazy Bernie Sanders (Vermont), Ron Wyden (Oregon, need we say more?), and Mazie Harano (Hawaii, the senator nobody ever heard of). There is no word on when the glacial Senate will schedule a full vote–but it can’t come soon enough. FERC has been without a voting quorum since February. One person who eagerly anticipates the final confirmation is current Acting FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur who has “expressed relief…the restoration of the commission’s quorum is within sight.” LaFleur said while FERC is “piling up quite a few cases for potential voting,” when the new boys arrive, there are bigger policy issues that the full commission needs to urgently address, including “taxation [and] master limited partnerships in the pipeline area.” FERC does a lot more than approve gas pipelines. Here’s the news of yesterday’s Senate vote, along with a look at what FERC’s current head sees as near-term priorities…

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