On December 7, 2017, Kevin McIntyre was sworn in as FERC Chairman. The addition of Chairman McIntyre now completes a full, five-member Commission. On the same day, Chairman McIntyre requested a 30-day extension of the deadline for FERC to act on Department of Energy (“DOE”) Secretary Rick Perry’s proposed rulemaking concerning grid resiliency pricing.

Following his nomination for the position by President Trump in August, Chairman McIntyre was confirmed by the Senate on November 2, 2017 (see November 7, 2017 edition of the WER). Prior to joining FERC, Chairman McIntyre was the co-leader of the energy practice at a law firm in Washington, D.C. Now that Chairman McIntyre has been sworn in, he will serve as Chairman for a remainder of a term ending June 2018 and a full term that ends June 2023. Chairman McIntyre will serve alongside current FERC Commissioners Cheryl LaFleur, Robert Powelson, Neil Chatterjee, and Richard Glick.

Since becoming an official member of the Commission, Chairman McIntyre has already begun addressing the grid resiliency pricing rulemaking proposed by DOE Secretary Perry on September 29, 2017 (see October 2, 2017 edition of the WER). In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”), Secretary Perry urged FERC to consider developing a rule which would require regional transmission organizations and independent system operators (“RTOs/ISOs”) to provide just and reasonable rates for “fuel-secure” generation units (e.g., coal and nuclear units). FERC was asked by Secretary Perry to issue a final rule within 60 days. On December 7, 2017, Chairman McIntyre issued a letter to Secretary Perry requesting a 30-day extension to the 60-day deadline for Commission action established in the NOPR. In his letter, Chairman McIntyre noted that the Commission had sworn in two new members (including himself) within the last two weeks, and referenced the over 1,500 submissions that had been made in the proceeding to date. Chairman McIntyre requested more time for the Commission “to consider the voluminous record and engage fully in deliberations.”

On December 8, 2017, Secretary Perry responded to Chairman McIntyre’s letter and granted the 30-day extension. Secretary Perry reemphasized the need for the Commission to take final action in light of serious threats, such as securing essential and reliable energy, to the nation’s electric grid. Accordingly, Secretary Perry noted that the original 60-day deadline imposed within the NOPR is reasonable under section 403 of the Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977 (“DOE Act”), which authorizes the Secretary to set reasonable time limits for FERC completion of any such proposed action. However, Secretary Perry granted the 30-day extension, an action amenable under section 403 of the DOE Act. In doing so, the new deadline for Commission action is Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

You may view FERC’s press release regarding the addition of Chairman McIntyre to the Commission here.

A copy of Chairman McIntyre’s letter to Secretary Perry is available here.

Additionally, a copy of Secretary Perry’s letter to Chairman McIntyre is available here.