Ohio Groups Oppose President Trump's FERC Nominees

Jul 4, 2017

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is down to one member, but three are needed to issue permits for projects like the Rover pipeline.
Credit FERC

Local groups in Ohio and across the natural-gas-producing areas of the northeast are pressing for a rejection of President Trump’s nominees to the federal agency that oversees interstate pipeline projects. As WCPN's Matt Richmond reports for Ohio Public Radio, if approved, the nominees would restore a quorum at the agency, allowing it to resume issuing permits.

Two Republican nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have been approved by the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee. They await a vote by the full Senate. One is Neil Chatterjee, who is currently energy policy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Chatterjee helped then-Minority Leader McConnell push back against environmental regulations that were seen as an attack on coal during the Obama administration.

The other, Robert Powelson, was plucked from the regulatory agency that oversees pipeline construction in Pennsylvania, where he’s served since 2008.

A third nominee, Richard Glick, currently serves as an aide on Capitol Hill. He was recommended by Senate Democrats but has yet to receive a hearing in the Senate.

The five-member regulatory commission is currently down to one member. Three are needed to issue permits for pipelines such as the NEXUS, running through Ohio. Construction of the Rover pipeline led to a 2 million gallon spill of drilling mud into wetlands in Stark County in April.