Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter
Published: Friday, February 10, 2017
President Trump met with several senators yesterday, including moderate Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin (right) of West Virginia, at the White House. Photo courtesy of C-SPAN.
President Trump vowed to lawmakers at the White House yesterday to staff the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which currently lacks a quorum.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia during a bipartisan meeting noted that FERC has only two members — acting Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur and Commissioner Colette Honorable — not enough to make high-profile decisions, according to Manchin’s office.
Trump responded that he would get the agency up and running, said Jonathan Kott, a spokesman for Manchin.
Trump made the comment before 10 bipartisan senators at a meeting where he also committed to trying to restore full Export-Import Bank operations and expressed interest in bipartisan infrastructure legislation (E&E News PM, Feb. 9).
Sources awaiting White House nominations have said former Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman is under consideration to chair the agency.
Also rumored to be in the running for one of three open Republican seats are Neil Chatterjee, a longtime energy aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.); Patrick McCormick, senior counsel for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; and a host of former utility regulators, lawyers and executives.
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