Kleinschmidt Associates reported that it has entered into a strategic alliance with Tom Russo of Russo on Energy, LLC to strengthen its natural gas and oil infrastructure and environmental services offerings. The company said Russo, who spent more than 30 years as a manager and energy analyst at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), will complement Kleinschmidt’s natural gas energy expertise in reducing permitting schedules and associated costs while addressing the permitting, engineering and biology associated with mitigation for natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids pipelines, and liquefied natural gas clients. Russo will work with Kleinschmidt Senior Vice President Scott Ault and Senior Project Manager Kelly Schaeffer on all oil and natural gas services projects. Currently, Russo and Kleinschmidt are conducting training on the company’s Pipeline Waterbody Risk Assessment tool and FERC’s hydroelectric project relicensing in Houston and Washington, DC, respectively.

Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LLC CEO Peter Cella is retiring Aug. 1, with Executive Vice President (EVP) Mark Lashier, who handles commercial operations, set to succeed him. Among his other accomplishments, Cella “was a guiding influence in advancing the company’s transformational $6 billion U.S. Gulf Coast Petrochemicals Project,” said board member Timothy G. Taylor, president of Phillips 66. Lashier began his career as an engineer with Phillips 66 predecessor company Phillips Petroleum Co., and in 2000 he joined Chevron Phillips Chemical as Chevron Corp. and Phillips Petroleum combined their chemical businesses. Lashier holds a bachelor’s degree and doctorate in chemical engineering from Iowa State University. The company also elevated Scott Sharp, senior VP of manufacturing, to EVP, manufacturing. Ron Corn, SVP, projects/supply chain, was named SVP, petrochemicals, while Dave Morgan, SVP, polymers, was named SVP polymers/specialties. SVP Dave Smith who is in charge of petrochemicals, assumes the role of SVP, corporate planning/technology. Specialties VP Jim Becker was named VP, polymers, while VP Jim Telljohann of corporate planning/development will assume a commercial role as vice president, specialties.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry has approved the nomination of J. Christopher Giancarlo to be chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where he has served as acting chairman since January. The nomination must still be approved by the full Senate. Sharon Bowen, who has been a member of the CFTC since 2014 and whose term isn’t due to expire until June 2019, announced earlier in June that she will resign “within the next few months, or perhaps sooner if another nominee is confirmed.” The White House announced in April that the administration would nominate Brian Quintenz, former head of a Washington, DC-based investment firm, to be a CFTC commissioner for the remainder of a five-year term expiring April 13, 2020, and earlier in June announced the nomination of Dawn DeBerry Stump, a former executive director of the Americas Advisory Board for the Futures Industry Association and vice president at NYSE Euronext. Both of those nominations are pending before the committee.