Senate approves Trump’s FERC nominees

Christie

Clements

The Senate has confirmed the nominations of Republican Mark Christie and Democrat Allison Clements to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by voice vote, bringing the agency to its full, five-member complement for the first time since before Cheryl LaFleur departed in August of last year.

The chamber’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted on November 18 to advance the pair to the full Senate for confirmation, following their testimony before the committee in September. President Trump announced his intention to nominate Christie and Clements in July.

Press Release

American Nuclear Society files FERC comments on Diablo Canyon’s early closure

La Grange Park, IL – The American Nuclear Society (ANS) has submitted comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in favor of reconsidering the shortsighted decision to shutter prematurely California’s largest clean energy resource, Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

ANS filed the comments on Nov. 12 in favor of an Oct. 26 complaint by Californians for Green Nuclear Power against the regulatory approvals of the 2016 decision by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to permanently shutter Diablo Canyon Units 1 and 2 in November 2024 and August 2025, respectively. The complaint (Docket No. EL21-13-000) asked FERC to investigate whether the decision shuttering Diablo Canyon violates grid reliability standards. ANS agrees with the complaint that FERC ought to consider fully the negative consequences and reliability risks posed by a premature retirement of Diablo Canyon.

ANS backs effort to save Diablo Canyon

Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. Photo: PG&E

The American Nuclear Society has submitted a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in support of a complaint recently filed by a nuclear advocacy group regarding the 2016 decision to prematurely retire the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant.

The letter was signed by ANS Executive Director and CEO Craig Piercy and President Mary Lou Dunzik-Gougar.

Chatterjee out as FERC chairman, Danly in

Chatterjee

The Trump administration on November 5 removed Neil Chatterjee from the chairmanship of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, replacing him with fellow Republican James Danly, who was confirmed to a seat on the commission in March.

Chatterjee joined FERC in 2017, serving as chairman from August to December 2017. He returned to the leadership role in October 2018, following the departure of Kevin McIntyre. In a tweet, Chatterjee said that he intends to complete his term, which expires in June 2021.

Complaint filed with FERC to save Diablo Canyon from early closure

A nuclear advocacy group is asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to review the approval by California regulators of the decision by Pacific Gas and Electric in 2016 to prematurely retire its Diablo Canyon plant—the Golden State’s only remaining operating nuclear power facility—in 2025.

On October 26, the nonprofit organization Californians for Green Nuclear Power Inc. (CGNP) filed a 32-page complaint with FERC in the matter, listing as respondents the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC), California Independent System Operator (CAISO), California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California State Water Resources Control Board (CSWRCB), and California State Lands Commission (CSLC).

Exelon to close Byron and Dresden plants in 2021

Exelon Generation, operator of the largest nuclear reactor fleet in the United States, intends to downsize that fleet next year by retiring its Byron and Dresden plants. In an announcement released early this morning, Exelon said that the two-unit Byron, located near Byron, Ill., would be permanently closed in September 2021, followed in November by the two-unit Dresden, located in Morris, Ill.

Byron is licensed to operate for another 20 years; Dresden, a much older facility, is licensed for another decade.

McNamee stepping down from FERC

McNamee

Bernard McNamee, one of the four current members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, has announced that he will be leaving the agency next month, narrowing its majority to two Republicans to one Democrat. As Newswire reported on July 30, the White House intends to nominate Republican Mark C. Christie to fill McNamee’s seat and Democrat Allison Clements to fill FERC’s remaining Democratic seat.

Trump picks two for spots on FERC

Clements

Christie

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.

Exelon, EDF ask NY to okay proposed nuclear deal

Exelon Generation and Électricitéde France have asked the New York Public Service Commission to approve the transfer of EDF’s 49.99 percent ownership interest in Constellation Energy Nuclear Group (CENG) to Exelon, which owns 50.1 percent. CENG is the owner of New York’s Ginna and Nine Mile Point nuclear plants, as well as Maryland’s Calvert Cliffs.

Bill introduced to protect critical electric infrastructure

Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) and James Risch (R., Idaho) have introduced legislation to bolster safeguards for U.S. critical electric infrastructure. Dubbed the Energy Infrastructure Protection Act, the bill updates provisions in the Federal Power Act and restricts federal disclosures of certain sensitive energy information.

States request review of FERC’s MOPR ruling

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU), along with the Public Service Commission of Maryland, on April 27 filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals, requesting a review of an April 16 ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that largely upheld its December 2019 order regarding PJM Interconnection’s forward-looking capacity auctions. The controversial order instructed PJM to expand its minimum offer price rule (MOPR) to include new and existing energy resources, including nuclear and renewables, that receive state subsidies. PJM operates the largest wholesale competitive electricity market in the country, covering 13 states and the District of Columbia.

Senate approves Danly for commission spot

The Senate on March 12 confirmed Republican James Danly to a seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by a vote of 52 to 40. All GOP senators voted to confirm, as well as three Democrats often described as “centrist”: West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee’s ranking member; Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema; and Alabama’s Doug Jones.