Republican to depart energy commission, leaving it evenly divided
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Commissioner Neil Chatterjee, a Republican, will exit the commission at the end of this month, leaving Democrats and Republicans with two seats apiece on the regulatory board.
Chatterjee announced in a Friday tweet that his last day on the commission will be Aug. 30.
“I have notified @RichGlickFERC, my fellow Commissioners, and @FERC staff that my last day at the Commission will be Monday, August 30,” he wrote.
“I will continue to carry out my responsibilities until that date. Serving on the Commission has been the honor of a lifetime,” the regulator added.
Chatterjee’s term expired earlier this year, but he was continuing to serve under a grace period that can extend until his replacement is sworn in.
President Biden has yet to nominate anyone to replace Chatterjee at FERC. The commission’s responsibilities include reviewing proposals for interstate natural gas pipelines and regulating interstate electricity transmission and wholesales.
The departing Republican was seen as a relative moderate, having expressed support for combating climate change and signaling support for carbon pricing in electricity markets.
During the Trump administration, he served as the commission’s chairman, though then-President Trump later named a different commissioner, James Danly, to lead the panel, demoting Chatterjee.
Chatterjee said in media interviews that he believed he was removed as the head of the commission because of his “independence” on climate and views on carbon pricing. President Biden has since named Democrat Richard Glick as FERC chair.
Chatterjee is also a former staffer to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
No more than three members of the same political party may serve on the commission.