President Trump late Monday announced his intention to nominate the PUC’s Robert Powelson and Neil Chatterjee, an energy advisor to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to fill vacancies on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the appointments will restore a quorum to the three member commission that regulates the siting of oil and natural gas pipelines, gas export facilities and larger electric transmission lines.
Powelson was first nominated to the PUC by Gov. Rendell in 2008. Gov Corbett appointed him to serve as PUC Chairman in 2011 and he held that position until 2015. His current term as Commission expires on April 1, 2019.
Powelson was elected President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commission in November of 2016 and served in various positions at NARUC. Powelson also served as President of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners (MACRUC) from June 2014 to June 2015.
Powelson is a voting member of the National Regulatory Research Institute. In 2012, he was appointed to serve on the Electric Power Research Institute Advisory Council and was recently re-appointed to serve another term, which expires August 2018.
On March 8, 2011, Gov. Corbett invited Powelson to serve as a member of the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission. The Advisory Commission reviewed the Commonwealth’s existing statutes, regulations and policies and provided recommendations to ensure that Pennsylvania maximizes the opportunity that Marcellus Shale presents in the most responsible manner possible.
Powelson has served on the Board of Trustees of Drexel University since 2013 and served on the Board of Directors of Lincoln University from 2000-2013.
Powelson ignited a controversy in March when he compared pipeline protesters as conducting a “jihad” against FERC by showing up at Commissioner’s homes. He later walked those comments back saying it was an inappropriate choice of words.
If confirmed, Gov. Wolf will have the opportunity to fill the vacancy on the PUC. Powelson’s seat has been traditionally held by a Republican.
NewsClips:Trump Picks 2 For Federal Energy Regulatory Commission