Senate approves two bipartisan picks for FERC commissioners

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email

The US Senate has approved two candidates for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that were nominated by President Donald Trump, bringing the agency to a full complement of five commissioners.

Incoming commissioners Republican Mark Christie and Democrat Allison Clement, who were voted in by the Senate on Monday (30 November), will give FERC a 3-2 Republican majority until at least mid-2021, when commissioner and former chairman Neil Chatterjee’s term ends.

Christie has served the Virginia State Corporation Commission for 16 years, while Clements is the founder and president of Goodgrid LLC, a Utah-based energy policy and strategy consulting company. Before this, Clemens was the director of energy markets at the non-profit Energy Foundation, and previously worked as the corporate counsel of the Natural Resources Defense Council for 10 years, and as director of its Sustainable FERC Project. They will serve their terms through to 2025 and 2024 respectively.

This is the first time in two years that Trump's administration has nominated a candidate from each party for the agency. In October last year the President nominated Republican James Danly to fill a FERC vacancy while declining Clemens for a separate one, giving the FERC a 3-1 Republican majority and threatening to politicise a traditionally bipartisan governing body.

The agency has previously been accused of promoting fossil fuels after upholding a provision in February that was said to be hindering green energy’s involvement in New York state’s capacity market.

The move was welcomed by the American Council on Renewable Energy, which said that an “invigorated, independent” Commission would be more motivated to make regulatory reforms that would accelerate the US’ transition to renewable energy.

Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of ACORE, said he hopes Clemens and Christie will “address the significant wholesale energy market and electric transmission challenges facing our nation.”

“With fresh voices from clean energy and state regulatory backgrounds, we hope this reinvigorated, independent FERC will look anew at how to achieve the long overdue regulatory reforms needed to accelerate our energy transition.”

4 October 2022
Solar & Storage Finance USA, the only event that connects developers to capital and capital to solar and storage projects, will be back in November 2022.

Read Next

August 8, 2022
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which includes US$369 billion in energy security and climate change programmes over the next ten years, passed in the US Senate on Sunday, paving the way for its movement to the House of Representatives and subsequent signing by President Joe Biden.
June 23, 2022
US power grid operator PJM Interconnection latest capacity auction for 2023/2024 saw 1,868MW of solar PV procured, up 25% from 2022/2023.
June 17, 2022
Solar and energy storage deployment in the US could be accelerated under new proposals from the country’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) aimed at addressing significant backlogs in interconnection queues.
June 16, 2022
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has released a whitepaper outlining the reforms it believes are needed to the US interconnection system, in which it lays out a series of proposals for both regional transmission organisations (RTO) and the US-wide Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
June 15, 2022
NextEra Energy has announced its new decarbonisation strategy, dubbed Zero Carbon Blueprint, which includes eliminating all scope 1 and 2 emissions from its operations by 2045 without the use of carbon offsets and a massive increase in solar PV to 90GW by 2045.
June 7, 2022
The decision of US President Joe Biden to waive tariffs on solar imports from Southeast Asia for two years and authorise the US Department of Energy (DOE) to use the Defense Production Act (DPA) to accelerate the production of clean energy technologies, including PV modules and module components, has been broadly welcomed by the US solar sector and industry analysts.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
September 7, 2022
15:30 AEST (UTC +10)
Solar Media Events
September 14, 2022
London
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA
Solar Media Events
October 11, 2022
Virtual event