Senate panel to consider 3 Trump energy nominees

Senate panel to consider 3 Trump energy nominees
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The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is planning to consider three of President Trump’s nominees in September.

The panel on Thursday announced a Sept. 7 hearing on Joseph Balash’s nomination as assistant secretary of the Interior for land and minerals management and on Richard Glick and Kevin McIntyre to be members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

FERC, which is supposed to have five members, has been short of its three-person quorum since March, holding up the approvals of billions of dollars worth of projects such as pipelines and transmission lines. It has just one commissioner now, Democrat Cheryl LaFleur.

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Two other FERC nominees, Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson, were approved by the committee in June. But since both Chatterjee and Powelson are Republicans, Democrats have resisted allowing the full Senate to consider them without assurances that Glick, a Democrat, would also get a vote.

The Trump administration announced the Glick and McIntyre nominations weeks ago, but only sent their formal paperwork to the Senate on Wednesday.

McIntyre, a Republican, is slated to be the panel’s chairman. Trump can appoint any confirmed commissioner as chairman without separate Senate approval.