The nominations of Kevin McIntyre and Richard Glick to FERC received the support of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Tuesday and were sent to the full Senate for consideration.
Committee members gave unanimous support to McIntyre and Glick by voice vote. Ryan Nelson, who is nominated to be solicitor of the Department of the Interior (DOI), also received unanimous support. Joseph Balash, who is nominated to be assistant secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management, was reported favorably with Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) voting against. David Jonas, nominated to be general counsel of the Department of Energy (DOE), was reported favorably by a 14-9 vote, receiving the support mostly of committee Republicans.
The committee votes would allow, with Senate confirmation, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin operating with a full complement and provide more staff support to DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke and DOE Secretary Rick Perry, said Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
"We're moving expeditiously on these nominees so that Secretary Zinke and Secretary Perry can have their teams in place and so that FERC does not just have to have a minimum quorum, but instead a full complement of five commissioners," said Murkowski.
McIntyre, an attorney with Jones Day who currently serves as co-head of the global energy practice, was nominated by President Trump to a term at FERC that expires on June 30, 2018, and an additional term expiring June 30, 2023. McIntyre, a Republican, would be installed as chairman upon confirmation.
Glick, a Democrat and general counsel for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, would serve the remainder of a five-year term expiring June 30, 2022.
Approval by the committee and confirmation by the full Senate of the two FERC nominees would bring FERC to its full slate of five members. Robert Powelson and Neil Chatterjee, both Trump nominees, were both sworn in last month, joining holdover Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur. Chatterjee is acting as Chairman pending McIntyre's assumed confirmation.
FERC's first public meeting since January, which will be manned by the three current commissioners, is scheduled for Wednesday (Sept. 20).
The committee's votes were applauded by the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA).
"Fortunately, FERC, under the acting chairmanship of Neil Chatterjee, has begun tackling the workload that had built up while the agency was without a quorum. The full complement of commissioners will allow for more progress on the backlog," said IPAA’s Susan Ginsberg, vice president of crude oil and natural gas regulatory affairs.
"A full commission will also be better equipped to issue orders that can withstand the legal onslaught from groups that use every tactic, including opposition to pipelines, to keep America’s natural gas resources in the ground."