FERC Quorum Restored; New Chairman; List of Stalled Pipe Projects

Neil Chatterjee – New (temporary) FERC Chairman

A bunch of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) news to report. On Tuesday, FERC commissioner nominee Neil Chatterjee was sworn in, bringing the voting tally to two (of five). Yesterday, nominee Rob Powelson was sworn in, bringing the vote tally to three of five–which is now a quorum. Hooray! There are some $50 billion worth of pipeline and electric projects on hold due to lack of a voting quorum at FERC. Those projects, many of them in the Marcellus/Utica, will not move forward. In addition to the new quorum, President Trump named Chatterjee as the new (and temporary) chairman of FERC. The chairman drives the agenda and sets up the votes, so it makes sense for Trump to pick one of his own to fill the position. That means existing chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur (Democrat), who has been temporary in the position since January, will now resume her role as just a “regular” FERC commissioner. Why is Chatterjee only temporary? Because Trump has announced he wants another nominee, energy lawyer Kevin McIntyre, to become the chairman once the Senate has approved him. In an interview, Chatterjee observed this has been the first time in FERC’s 40 year history that the group has been without a quorum. Below we update you on the news, and bring you the complete list of pending pipeline projects that need a vote by FERC’s new quorum…

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