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Senate confirms two energy regulators to fill commission

Senate confirms two energy regulators to fill commission
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The Senate confirmed two new members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Thursday, filling the five-member board for the first time since October 2015.

Republican Kevin McIntrye and Democrat Richard Glick were installed as FERC commissioners on unanimous voice votes on Thursday afternoon. McIntrye is Trump’s nominee to chair the commission.

The confirmations establish a full commission at FERC, which is tasked with permitting energy projects like pipelines and export terminals. The commission is currently mulling a controversial proposal from Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryOvernight Energy: Feds sued over fracking rule repeal | Perry says US ‘blessed’ with fossil fuels | Park Service gets new acting director Rick Perry: US 'blessed' to provide fossil fuels to the world New DOE competition aims to jump-start US solar manufacturing MORE to overhaul the payment system for the electricity sector and prop up coal and nuclear plants.

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McIntyre will take over as chairman from Neil Chatterjee, who had been filling in on an interim basis.

Chatterjee welcomed the pair to the commission on Thursday in a statement, saying “both Kevin and Rich bring years of experience and knowledge to the significant issues before the commission, and, importantly, their arrival restores the commission to full strength.”

The FERC board has long had vacancies, but it dropped down to only one member earlier this year and was without a quorum for six months until Chatterjee and commissioner Robert Powelson were sworn in on Aug. 10.

The Senate also confirmed three Department of Energy nominees on Thursday: Mark Menezes to be undersecretary, Paul Dabbar to be undersecretary for science and Steven Winberg to be assistant secretary for fossil energy.

—Updated at 5:06 p.m.