FERC Gridlock Coming Thx to Rob Powelson (Selfishly) Leaving

Our sadness that Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Commissioner Rob Powelson is leaving is quickly turning to anger–against Powelson. In June we told you that Powelson will be leaving FERC in mid-August (see Sad News: FERC’s Rob Powelson (from PA) Resigns Effective August). Powelson has been a breath of fresh air and a strong proponent for pipelines. He’s a former utility regulator from Pennsylvania. Smart guy. Nice guy. And now, a selfish guy. It’s predictable and unsurprising that the two Democrats on FERC have sold out to radical elements in their own party and now vote against every new pipeline project that comes along, using mythical man-made global warming as the excuse. With Powleson leaving in August, gridlock will ensue. It’s easy to predict a a string of 2-2 decisions coming, which means important projects will not get approved in a timely manner. Powelson is leaving to further his own career. While we can appreciate that, we think there’s a higher calling for Powelson–to stick around and ensure important projects are not delayed by gridlock. Powelson needs to “take one for the team” and put his own ambitions aside for another year or two. If a string of important pipeline projects are delayed because Powelson leaves, he won’t be remembered fondly. “But,” you may ask, “won’t President Trump just quickly replace him?” “Quickly” is the operative word there. The rumor mill is already in overdrive on who Powelson’s replacement will be. However, most experts who watch this space are predicting the earliest Trump will be able to get someone seated at FERC will be in early 2019. And maybe longer. Meanwhile, important pipeline projects will be in limbo. And that makes us grumpy with Mr. Powelson…

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