The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources has scheduled an Oct. 16 hearing to consider the nomination of Bernard McNamee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. McNamee is currently executive director of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Policy, 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. President Trump announced his intention to nominate McNamee Oct. 3 and the official nomination was received by the Senate Oct. 5.

The Arkansas Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved a $12 million general rate increase and a $9.7 million federal tax reform customer refund for Rapid City, SD-based Black Hills Corp., whose Arkansas gas utility operates as Black Hills Energy. The PSC approved tax reform refunds beginning Oct. 15 with $8.2 million to be delivered through May in monthly bill credits and the remaining $1.5 million to be included in lower rates. After this year, the tax savings are expected to amount to about $6.2 million in annual lower rates.