Sad News: FERC’s Rob Powelson (from PA) Resigns Effective August

FERC Commissioner Rob Powelson

Robert Powelson, a Republican member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) from the great state of Pennsylvania, appointed by President Trump, announced yesterday he is resigning effective in mid-August. He’s not even been in office a full year. This is devastatingly bad news in our book, for a couple of reasons. Coming from PA and previously serving on the state Public Utility Commission, Powelson has been a champion for natural gas and the pipelines that flow it–especially Marcellus/Utica projects. He’s been a superb FERC commissioner. So why is Powelson leaving? To become president and CEO of the National Association of Water Companies. No offense to that association (which we’d never heard of before), but this is a step down. The speculation whirling around is that Powelson is leaving FERC over differences of opinion with Team Trump and their ill-advised mission to prop up coal and nuclear energy, at the expense of natural gas. Apparently Powelson has had enough and wants out. It’s not only sad he’s leaving, it could be consequential in the near-term. Why? Because the Commission will be split 2-2 Republicans and Democrats, and the Dems have shown they’ve sold out to their radical elements, willing to vote against new pipeline projects in the name of man-made global warming, contrary to policy and stated regulation (see FERC Becomes Political as Seen in Rehearing Vote on NY Project). The politics in the Dem party is toxic and radical, and has now spread to FERC. Powelson’s departure at this time is not good news for our industry. We hope Trump can get a new FERC member appointed to replace Powelson asap–but don’t hold your breath. The swamp resists change at any cost…

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