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DOE policy director to fill FERC's 5th spot; nominee may be good for gas sector

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DOE policy director to fill FERC's 5th spot; nominee may be good for gas sector

Trump administration picks DOE policy director McNamee to be FERC commissioner

The White House moved to fill the fifth spot at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, announcing Oct. 3 that it intends to nominate U.S. Department of Energy official Bernard McNamee for a term that expires June 30, 2020.

If confirmed by the Senate, McNamee would fill the seat vacated by Robert Powelson, who left the commission to become president and CEO of the National Association of Water Companies after serving at the agency for only a year.

FERC nominee could be good for gas sector but faces 'tough' confirmation

The appointment of U.S. Department of Energy staffer Bernard McNamee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would give natural gas pipeline companies a more certain path through the commission's permit application process, but his road to confirmation in the U.S. Senate could be bumpy, energy industry analysts said.

A restored Republican majority on the commission would benefit the gas industry by holding the power to overrule Democrats' concerns about the way the commission evaluates greenhouse gas emissions, other environmental impacts and the public need for gas infrastructure projects.

Williams sets Oct. 6 full-service date for $3B Atlantic Sunrise gas project

Williams Cos. Inc. said it was placing its $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline expansion project into service Oct. 6, providing the full takeaway capacity of up to 1.7 Bcf/d to an infrastructure-constrained region of the Marcellus Shale.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in an Oct. 4 letter order gave Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC permission to place into service the last parts of the expansion. The pipeline company had asked FERC for the authorization after pushing back the mechanical completion and in-service date because of construction delays caused by heavy rain.

Democrats help FERC approve Kinder Morgan-led expansion of Sierrita line

The two Democratic members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission backed an Oct. 1 decision to grant a Natural Gas Act certificate for an expansion of the Sierrita Gas Pipeline LLC system that would allow up to 323 MMcf/d of additional firm transportation service to the Mexican border.

The votes of Democratic Commissioners Richard Glick and Cheryl LaFleur to approve the project underscored their willingness to support natural gas infrastructure certificates in some cases despite differences with Republican commissioners over climate change considerations in pipeline reviews.

FERC authorizes partial service for Columbia Gas' WB XPress

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff authorized Columbia Gas Transmission LLC to place portions of its 1.3-MMDth/d WB XPress natural gas pipeline project into service.

Staff wrote in an Oct. 4 letter to the TransCanada Corp. subsidiary that the project's western facilities — which include pipelines, a receiver site, a compressor station and a valve site in West Virginia — can begin operating after Columbia stabilized areas disturbed by construction.