A logjam of construction approvals for major natural gas pipelines, liquefied natural gas facilities and other projects could loosen by the end of the summer if the Senate approves two Republicans whom President Trump nominated May 8 to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The nominees to full FERC terms are Neil Chatterjee, senior energy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Robert Powelson, a Pennsylvania energy regulator. FERC hasn’t been able to make any major decisions about energy projects since February, when departures left it with just two members. The commission, which at full strength has five members, needs at least three to vote on issues. The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America has said that $15 billion in interstate natural gas lines alone are awaiting FERC approval.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said her panel would schedule hearings on the nominees as soon as it receives the necessary paperwork. Still, the process is expected to take at least several weeks.