Thursday, February 21, 2019

Trump Taps Senate Aide, Former Lobbyist for FERC

By Michael Brooks

The White House late Wednesday announced that President Trump intends to nominate Richard Glick, general counsel for the Democrats on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, to replace outgoing FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable.

trump richard glick ferc

Glick | Avangrid Renewables

Glick has been with the committee since February 2016. Prior to that, he was a lobbyist at Avangrid Renewables, PPM Energy and PacifiCorp. Glick also served under the Clinton administration as an adviser to Energy Secretary Bill Richardson. He earned his bachelor’s from George Washington University and his J.D. from Georgetown University.

Glick’s term would end in 2022. The announcement came two days before Honorable’s term at the commission ends, leaving acting Chair Cheryl LaFleur, a Democrat, as the only commissioner. (See FERC’s Colette Honorable Says Goodbye.)

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner Robert Powelson and Neil Chatterjee, energy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have already advanced out of committee and are awaiting confirmation votes by the full Senate.

Powelson and Chatterjee, both Republicans, would restore the commission’s quorum, but it is unknown when McConnell intends to schedule the votes: The Senate has been consumed by Republicans’ efforts to replace Obamacare, and reports say that Democrats have refused to consent to votes on other items while debate on the bill is ongoing.

The confirmation of the three nominees would leave only the seat vacated in February by former Chair Norman Bay, a term that would end next year.

ferc trump richard glick

FERC’s membership will see a nearly complete turnover if Republicans Robert Powelson and Neil Chatterjee and Democrat Richard Glick are confirmed by the Senate to join acting Chair Cheryl LaFleur. President Trump has not yet nominated a third Republican.

Numerous reports have identified Kevin McIntyre, co-head of the energy practice at law firm Jones Day, as the third Republican nominee and likely chairman, but he has not been formally named.

Glick’s nomination may be an effort to appease Democrats and enable simultaneous votes on all three nominees. If that’s the case, FERC will have to wait on a White House notorious for its slowness in officially submitting nominations and for Glick to go through the committee process.

Honorable’s “departure again underscores the urgent need to re-establish a quorum at FERC,” Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said yesterday. “Getting the agency back to the normal course of business remains a top priority for me. I will continue to push for a confirmation vote for Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson. … I hope my colleagues among the Senate minority will join us in enabling a quick vote for Mr. Chatterjee and Mr. Powelson.”