Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Resigns; Trump Appoints Acting Chairman

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Norman Bay yesterday announced he will resign his chairmanship and his commission appointment on Feb. 3.

FERC in a public statement yesterday said President Donald Trump named Cheryl LaFleur acting chairman.

LaFleur served as chairman from July 2014 to April 2015. She has been a member of FERC since 2010.

With Bay’s departure, FERC will be left with only two members — LaFleur and Colette Honorable — which is not enough to secure a quorum on agency decisions.

“While I recognize that FERC is in a state of transition as we await nominations to fill vacant seats at the agency, it is important that FERC’s work on the nation’s energy markets and infrastructure move forward,” LaFleur said in a statement.

Bay was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2014, and his term was set to expire in June 2018.

In his letter of resignation to President Trump, Bay noted significant changes to the energy space that have occurred during his term.

“The shale revolution and an abundance of low-priced natural gas, technological innovation, the expanded use of renewable energy, increased energy efficiency and flat load growth, state and federal public policy, and consumer choice have been drivers for change,” Bay said. “As Chairman, I have sought to help consumers realize the benefits from this change, while assisting the wholesale markets and industry in adapting to the change and maintaining just and reasonable rates and reliability.”

In the six-page letter, Bay enumerated many of FERC’s recent accomplishments, including winning two cases in the Supreme Court — FERC v. EPSA and Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing — that recognize FERC’s authority over the wholesale markets.

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Jennifer Delony, analyst for TransmissionHub, started her career as a B2B news editor in the local and long-distance telecommunications industries in the '90s. Jennifer began covering renewable energy issues at the local level in 2005 and covered U.S. and Canadian utility-scale wind energy as editor of North American Windpower magazine from 2006-2009. She also provides analysis for the oil and natural gas sectors as editor of Oilman Magazine.

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