President Trump has announced he plans to nominate Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to fill existing FERC vacancies, for terms expiring June 30, 2021, and June 30, 2020, respectively.
Chatterjee currently serves as energy policy advisor to United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Before serving in this role, he worked as a Principal in Government Relations for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and as an aide to House Republican Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce of Ohio. He started his career in Washington, DC, with the House Committee on Ways and Means. During his career, he has played a key role in the passage of major energy, highway, and farm legislation.
Powelson currently serves as the President of National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), based in Washington, DC. He also is Chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, a position he has held since 2011. He also serves on the Electric Power Research Institute Advisory Board (EPRI), along with the Drexel University Board of Trustees. From 1994 to 2008, Powelson served as the President and CEO of the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry based in Malvern, PA. In 2005, he was selected by the Eisenhower Presidential Fellow to be a United States fellow in Singapore and Australia.
Don Santa, president and chief executive officer of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, praised the nominations, and expressed optimism this decision will enable U.S. natural gas pipeline projects move ahead in a timely manner.
“We applaud President Trump for announcing his intent to nominate Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson as FERC commissioners, and we urge the Senate to act expeditiously on these nominations,” Santa said. “The president, and many members of Congress, have stressed the economic importance of developing infrastructure across America. Natural gas pipelines are a form of infrastructure built with private capital, rather than government funds. We estimate that about $15 billion of shovel-ready, natural gas pipeline projects are stranded on the sidelines because FERC’s lack of quorum prevents the commission from acting on major energy projects. To build this infrastructure, we need a functioning FERC to act on pending natural gas infrastructure projects of national importance. The nomination of these individuals to serve at FERC will mark a step toward improving the nation’s energy infrastructure.”