The White House earlier this week announced its intention to nominate Allison Clements, a Democrat, and Mark C. Christie, a Republican, to seats on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. If both are confirmed by the Senate, FERC will have a full complement of five commissioners—three Republicans and two Democrats—for the first time since before Cheryl LaFleur departed in August last year.
The picks: Clements is the founder and president of Goodgrid LLC, an energy policy and strategy consulting firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Previously, she was director of the energy markets program at the Energy Foundation. Clements has also been a corporate counsel with the Natural Resources Defense Council and director of its Sustainable FERC project. She would fill the seat left vacant by LaFleur.
Christie is chairman of the Virginia State Corporation Commission, an independent branch of the state government with regulatory authority over utilities. He has also been president of the Organization of PJM States and the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Commissioners. Christie would take the seat currently held by Commissioner Bernard McNamee, whose term expired on June 30 but who is allowed to remain on the commission until a successor is confirmed or until the current Congress ends in January of next year.
Trump pleases a Democrat: “In a political climate that is often paralyzed by partisanship, a bipartisan FERC is more essential than ever,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), ranking member of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “I thank the president and the White House for nominating both a Democrat and Republican today, because it is an important step towards restoring a fully seated commission.”
Following the Senate vote in March approving the nomination of Republican James Danly for a FERC seat, Manchin and others expressed frustration over the president’s failure to nominate a Democrat along with Danly.