Tuesday, May 9, 2017

PUC’s Powelson To Be Nominated To Serve On Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

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.
Members of the Public Utility Commission offered congratulations to Commissioner Robert F. Powelson on his nomination--
Chairman Gladys M. Brown: “Commissioner Powelson is knowledgeable and passionate about public utility issues – from infrastructure investment and marketplace competition to innovation and the development of our next generation of utility workers. He has also been a strong advocate for Pennsylvania and for the important role of utility regulators across the country. His service reflects well on the work of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and will be positive for the Commonwealth.”
Vice Chairman Andrew G. Place: “Rob’s nomination comes at a key moment for federal environmental and energy policy. The reshaped Commission will continue to be challenged to balance the demand for rational energy choices in support of both economic sustainability and environmental stewardship. The crucible of Pennsylvania has put him in a favorable position to navigate these demands.”
Commissioner John F. Coleman Jr.: "I wish to congratulate my colleague and friend on this prestigious honor of being nominated by President Trump to serve as a FERC Commissioner. Rob has been a stalwart champion of competitive electric and natural gas markets. During his tenure as Chairman, Pennsylvania has become a leader among states and a model for others to follow."
Commissioner David W. Sweet: “Commissioner Powelson always calls matters as he sees them. Not only does he have extensive knowledge about utility issues, but he is very skilled at developing creative solutions.”
March Controversy
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.
Trump Picks 2 For Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

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