President Trump intends to nominate Bernard McNamee, who is currently executive director of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Policy, to fill the vacant fifth seat at FERC, the White House said Wednesday.
McNamee previously served as deputy general counsel for energy policy at DOE and practiced energy law with McGuireWoods LLP. He also has worked at the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation.
McNamee served four attorneys general in Virginia and Texas, was a policy adviser to a Virginia governor, and served as a senior domestic policy adviser to a U.S. senator, the White House said. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and law degree from Emory University School of Law.
If confirmed by the Senate, McNamee would fill a spot at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission previously held by Robert Powelson, for the remainder of a five-year term due to expire June 30, 2020. Powelson left FERC in August to become president and CEO of the National Association of Water Companies.
McNamee was among the first names floated as a possible nominee for the fifth seat at FERC, based at least in part on his support for DOE's failed notice of proposed rulemaking to change the nation's grid reliability and resilience policies.
McNamee would be the third Republican at FERC, joining Chairman Kevin McIntyre and Commissioner Neil Chatterjee. Commissioners Richard Glick and Cheryl LaFleur are Democrats.