Power & Pipes

FERC, CFTC, and State Energy Law Developments

In an expected move, President Joe Biden has designated Commissioner Richard Glick as the new FERC Chairman. Chairman Glick takes over from Commissioner James Danly, whose term as Chairman lasted less than three months.

Unlike appointments to a position as a Commissioner, which requires the consent of the Senate, the president may re-designate the FERC Chairman at will. Such re-designations are common following a change in the party controlling the White House. Chairman Glick remains focused on the new administration’s renewable and clean energy objectives, and is expected to use the Chairman’s control over FERC’s agenda to push for those goals, noting in his statement this morning that “[t]his is an important moment to make significant progress on the transition to a clean energy future.”

Chairman Glick is one of the two Democratic appointees on the five-member Commission, and until Commissioner Neil Chatterjee’s term concludes at the end of June 2021, the majority of FERC’s Commissioners will be Republican appointees. Having a majority-Republican Commission in the short term could be seen as an obstacle to furthering the new administration’s objectives in certain areas. But that may not be true here. Most FERC decisions remain unanimous (and bipartisan) and on some non-unanimous decisions related to clean energy Commissioner Chatterjee has voted with then-Commissioner Glick, suggesting that Chairman Glick may have the three votes he will need on some close decisions.