FERC chairman resigns - Smart Energy Decisions

Regulation, Regulation  -  January 30, 2017

Outgoing FERC chairman resigns from commission

Norman Bay, who up until Jan. 26 had been serving as Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, has resigned. 

In a letter to President Donald Trump, Bay indicated he would resign from the commission effective Feb. 3. The decision immediately followed the president's nomination of Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur as acting chairman of the commission. 

General consensus has been that Trump's choice to lead FERC likely signals a shift within the commission toward more industry-friendly policies and actions. 

Bay's departure will leave FERC with only two members, meaning FERC will not be able to convene the quorum it needs to make decisions. According to The National Law Review, that means FERC's hands will be tied on contested rate making issues, public utility transactions, and interstate natural gas pipeline and LNG facility certificates until a new commissioner is appointed by the president. 

In his letter, Bay outlined the significant changes underway within the U.S. energy space and his work over recent years to responsibly facilitate those changes. 

"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." 

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