Democratic commissioner sworn in to energy regulatory board

Democratic commissioner sworn in to energy regulatory board
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Democrat Richard Glick formally joined the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Wednesday, bringing the board one step closer to being fully staffed.

The Senate confirmed Glick and Republican Kevin McIntyre to FERC on Nov. 2, though neither were sworn in to the panel until Glick was formally added on Wednesday.

McIntyre, Trump’s pick to lead the commission, has yet to join FERC, though acting Chairman Neil Chatterjee said Tuesday that it’s “simply a matter of timing, prioritization, getting documents signed” before McIntyre is sworn in.

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“There is no conspiracy here. There is no intentional delay or dragging things out to some nefarious end,” Chatterjee told reporters Wednesday.

“People have to unwind their own professional obligations in their current jobs before they can transition over. Last week was Thanksgiving. I’m certain that both of the confirmed nominees wanted to spend time with their families.”

Glick is a former aide to Senate Democrats and a renewable energy industry lobbyist. President Trump nominated him to the commission, which has partisanship requirements, in June.

His swearing-in comes days before FERC faces a deadline to act on Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryOvernight Energy: Regulators say Perry plan didn’t pass legal muster | Chamber to push for 25-cent gas tax hike | Energy expert sees US becoming 'undisputed leader' in oil, gas Overnight Regulation: Dems claim 50 votes in Senate to block net neutrality repeal | Consumer bureau takes first step to revising payday lending rule | Trump wants to loosen rules on bank loans | Pentagon, FDA to speed up military drug approvals Energy regulators: Perry’s coal plan wasn’t legally defensible MORE’s proposal to prop up nuclear and coal-fired power plants.

Perry has proposed requiring higher payments for electricity from those two sources as a way to help the struggling sectors. FERC, an independent regulatory agency, has to rule on the proposal by Dec. 11.

Glick’s vote — and McIntyre’s — are critical for the future of Perry's effort. Chatterjee supports Perry’s plan, though two other commissioners on the five-member board, Republican Rob Powelson and Democrat Cheryl LaFleur, have raised concerns with the proposal.