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Monday, August 7, 2017

Senate Confirmations Kick FERC Back Into Gear

From The Hill:
The Senate voted Thursday evening to confirm two of President Trump's nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), paving the way for the commission to have its first quorum in six months. 
Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson were confirmed by unanimous consent and are slated to join the five-member board, which has seen its action paused since February following a pair of retirements. 
FERC is responsible for permitting decisions on energy projects like natural gas pipelines and export terminals. The lack of a quorum has left FERC unable to move such projects forward, inaction that has led to frustration in the energy, manufacturing and business communities. 
Neither Chatterjee nor Powelson was considered a controversial pick. Chatterjee is an energy aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Powelson is a Pennsylvania utilities regulator. 
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee advanced both nominations in June on 20-3 votes. Democrats, though, had been hesitant to bring their nominations to the floor for confirmation votes until they were assured a Democratic nominee would receive a vote as well.
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