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HomeOil and GasBiden Nominates Two Democrats, One Republican to FERC; INGAA Applauds Nominations

Biden Nominates Two Democrats, One Republican to FERC; INGAA Applauds Nominations

3/1/2024

(Reuters) — President Joe Biden on Thursday nominated two Democrats and one Republican to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an independent panel that rules on energy transmission and liquefied natural gas projects.

The two Democrats nominated were David Rosner, a FERC energy industry analyst currently on detail with the U.S. Senate energy committee, and Judy Chang, an energy economics and policy expert and former undersecretary of energy and climate solutions for Massachusetts.

The Republican, Lindsay See, recommended by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, is the solicitor general of West Virginia. The nominees must be confirmed by the Senate.

FERC has been mainly known recently for approving natural gas pipelines and LNG export terminals.

It is expected to issue rules this year that could expand or upgrade electricity transmission, getting power from wind and solar projects to cities, which would help implement measures in Biden’s climate legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act.

The panel, which has a maximum of five members, currently has two Democrats and one Republican. This month Biden promoted Willie Phillips to head FERC. Shortly afterwards, Allison Clements, the other Democrat, said she would not seek a second term after her current one expires June 30. Clements could choose to stay until year’s end.

If the nominees are confirmed, they could play a role in approving LNG projects after the lifting of Biden’s pause on new applications for exports of the fuel to big markets in Asia and Europe. The pause could last until after the Nov. 5 elections.

A backer of natural gas praised Biden for starting the process on filling FERC seats.

“Vacancies at FERC potentially risk the development of the energy infrastructure needed to deliver natural gas to American homes and businesses and to our allies abroad,” said Amy Andryszak, head of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America.

An environmentalist said the nominees have big roles to play in the switch to low-carbon energy.

“It would be a shame if these presidential appointees squandered the limited time left to transition off fossil fuels and ensure renewable energy is built responsibly,” said Gaby Sarri-Tobar, energy justice campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Amy Andryszak, president and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), commented on Biden’s nominations:

“INGAA and our members applaud President Biden for his nomination of three new commissioners to the FERC.  Further, we urge Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee leadership to quickly vet the qualifications of the nominees and advance them through the confirmation process to fill the vacancies at FERC.

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