Incoming commissioner for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Robert Powelson will join Neil Chatterjee and acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur and restore a voting quorum at the commission on Monday, Aug. 14, according to an interview Powelson gave to the Daily Local News in Pennsylvania.
"I start on Monday," Powelson told the reporter. "There are $80 billion of projects that need to be reviewed. The agency basically grounded to a halt."
Once Powelson is sworn in at FERC, the commission will have three commissioners, the minimum number required to issue certificates for energy projects, including natural gas pipelines and hydropower infrastructure. Powelson, a member of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, was confirmed with fellow Republican Chatterjee by the Senate on Aug. 3.
FERC has lacked a quorum for about six months, after former Chairman Norman Bay left. Former Commissioner Colette Honorable resigned on June 30, the end of her term. When full, the agency has five commissioners. The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold nomination hearings on Democrat Richard Glick and energy lawyer Kevin McIntyre on Sept. 7.