The Senate voted last night to confirm the nominations of Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to fill two of the four Commissioner vacancies in FERC leadership. The nominations were approved by the full Senate, on a voice vote. On August 2, President Trump formally submitted to the Senate the nominations of Richard Glick as Democratic FERC Commissioner and Kevin J. McIntyre as Republican FERC Chairman. There has been no indication from the Administration that either Commissioner Chatterjee or Commissioner Powelson would be elevated to Acting Chairman pending Kevin McIntyre’s confirmation. It appears that Cheryl LaFleur will remain as Acting Chair.
Now that two Republican Commissioners have been confirmed, FERC’s quorum has been restored and the agency can move forward with its decision-making functions, including its ability to issue final orders. We can expect the Commissioners to be sworn in and seated within the next week or two.
According to Pierce Atwood Energy Partner Ruta Skucas, a former assistant to then-Commissioner LaFleur, when commissioners are nominated, they often interview and hire their staff prior to being sworn in so they may hit the ground running when they take office.