Trump will face vacancies at FERC, NRC

When the incoming Trump administration takes power in January, it will face a number of vacancies at both the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

There are currently two slots currently open at the five-member NRC, although one nomination is currently awaiting Senate confirmation. Back in July, President Obama nominated Alabama native Jessie Hill Roberson to the NRC. Roberson has more than 30 years of experience in the nuclear engineering field.

Roberson is currently vice chairman of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. Roberson is considered a Democratic Party nominee, one source noted.

In the first quarter of this year, NRC Commissioner William Ostendorff, a Republican, announced that he did not plan to seek another term on NRC. His term expired at the end of June. Democrats currently outnumber GOP appointees two-to-one at NRC.

Both NRC and FERC are meant to be bipartisan and include members from both parties, although the party that controls the White House typically holds the majority.

Likewise, FERC is designed to have up to five members but currently has only three. Commissioner Tony Clark, a Republican, left FERC at the end of September. Clark’s departure left no Republicans on FERC.

Neil Chatterjee, a congressional staffer who has worked on energy issues for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is rumored to be someone that the Trump administration might consider for a FERC opening, a source said recently.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.