Senate approves two bipartisan picks for FERC commissioners

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on 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.”

Read Next

April 16, 2021
The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has announced a string of initiatives to help develop the country’s power grid, including tightening a transmission incentive policy for utilities and a workshop that will explore how companies can benefit from grid-enhancing technology.
April 14, 2021
Meyer Burger is on track to start shipments of its first heterojunction (HJ) solar modules made in Germany to distributors in July.
April 13, 2021
Europe’s power networks need to embrace flexibility and whole systems approaches on much larger scales if they are to be capable of accommodating the levels of renewable power necessary to hit 2030 targets.
April 9, 2021
A draft proposal put forward by China’s National Development and Reform Commission could see subsidies for new solar projects phased out, starting this year.
April 8, 2021
The US Department of the Treasury has revealed how new renewable tax incentives will be paid for by a tax raid on the fossil fuel industry, eliminating subsidies for oil and gas companies.
PV Tech Premium
April 8, 2021
After a challenging year, India’s solar sector stands primed for something of a rebound. But a host of familiar issues, from the perilous state of DISCOMs to regulatory uncertainty, run the risk of stymying future growth. Vinay Rustagi, managing director at consultancy Bridge to India, talks to PV Tech about the future prospects for Indian solar.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
April 20, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
April 28, 2021
4:00 - 4:30 PM CET
Solar Media Events
May 11, 2021