On March 9, 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported that President Donald J. Trump will nominate Neil Chatterjee, Kevin McIntyre, and Robert Powelson as commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The five-commissioner panel has only two sitting commissioners and has been without a quorum, and therefore unable to vote to advance or permit major interstate natural gas pipeline projects, since February 3, 2017. In addition to the three current vacancies, commissioner Colette D. Honorable’s term is set to expire in June.
Chatterjee is an energy policy advisor and liaison to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McIntyre is an energy attorney and partner in the Washington, DC, office of Jones Day, where he co-heads the firm’s energy practice group. Powelson is a commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. The nominees must be confirmed by the United States Senate prior to taking their seats at FERC—a process which could take several months.