Day of Action: Stop Trump’s Dirty Energy Agenda!

JOIN FOR A RALLY & DAY OF ACTION
September 20, 2017
8:30 AM
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First St, NE, Washington, DC 20426

Afternoon lobbying on the hill to begin around 11:30, starting with a lunch time gathering in the Lower Senate park next to the Russell Senate Office Building, the corner of D St. and Delaware Ave NE.

thumbnail_September 20 meme_final FERC

Day’s Agenda

8:30am:  Gather and Rally from 8:30 until 9:30 am

10:00am:  Attendees encouraged to attend FERC’s open public meeting which begins at 10 am

11:00 am (or thereabouts):  At 11 am folks will be invited to grab a bag lunch and join together to drop in on Congressional offices to deliver the Stop Trump’s Dirty Energy Agenda sign on letters.

11:30am: Over lunch at the park outside the Senate office buildings we will talk about the message and how to effectively drop in and drop off materials.

12:30pm: Head into congressional buildings to drop materials and ask for drop in meetings

2:45 pm: Reconvene in the park outside Senate building to share your experience of the day

3:30 pm: Head home feeling good that you have been part of delivering a powerful message of opposition to FERC, Trump’s Dirty Energy Agenda, and advocating for reform and change. OR, head over to St. Stephen’s Church for dinner at 6pm and the Beyond Extreme Energy Strategy Meeting.

Those who cannot rally or go into the FERC meeting but just want to lobby in the afternoon are welcome to simply meet us at the park at 11:30

People are also encouraged to set up meetings with their own House members and/or Senators. Contact Bridget at bridget@delawareriverkeeper.org for materials that can be left with those you meet with.

How to Participate! 

Organizations can endorse our action here.

And can sign on to the letter to be delivered to congress here.

Individuals can sign up to attend the rally, other actions, and  housing here.

And individuals can sign on to the letter to be delivered to congress here.

Keep up to date at the Facebook event page.

Housing

There is low-cost housing at First Trinity Lutheran Church (309 E St. NW, Washington, DC) about a 10 minute walk from FERC the night of September 19th. You will be asked to pay $27 for this, the cost to us, though no one will be turned away who needs housing. Mattresses on the floor are available. When we leave First Trinity on the morning of the 20th, people will be able to store their gear in a storage van for safe keeping during the day.

Housing is available on the night of the 20th as well, starting at 6pm at St. Stephen’s Church (1525 Newton St NW).

Please bring everything you’d need to be comfortable sleeping, including toiletries. Showers are available at both locations but please bring your own towel and soap.

Be sure to fill out this form to reserve a spot: http://bit.ly/2vFtSGs.

Parking

Driving and parking in DC can be a logistical challenge. Folks are encouraged to arrive in DC using public transportation. Otherwise, although it’s possible to find street parking, it’s usually not long term and can be expensive. We’d encourage you to research parking options, including parking garages, ahead of time.

Food

Food will be available at First Trinity Church at 6pm on September 19th and again for breakfast the next morning. There will be bag lunches distributed to people in front of FERC before we walk over the Capitol Hill. Dinner will be available for folks who attend the BXE Strategy meeting the night of the 20th at 6pm at St. Stephen’s Church.

What to Bring

  • sleeping gear and toiletries, a towel, and soap
  • rain gear and appropriate outdoor clothing
  • dress clothes (optional). When lobbying, some choose to wear casual clothes, and some choose to dress up.
  • government-issued photo id (needed for entering the FERC Commission Meeting)

Art Build

We will make art for the event at Trinity Lutheran Church (309 E St. NW, Washington, DC) from 4pm to 6pm on September 19th. Please join us! Dinner will happen after the art build and housing is available at the church that night.

Strategy Meeting

Beyond Extreme Energy is organizing a strategy meeting on the evening of the 20th from 7-9 pm and the morning of the 21st from 9 am -1 pm.

The meeting will take place at St. Stephen’s Church (1525 Newton St NW) in DC. We’ll be sleeping at St. Stephen’s on the night of the 20th and having meals together. Come for all or parts of the meeting. Doors will open at 6pm on the 20th. We’ll have dinner prepared by Seeds of Peace at that time. Don’t let past, present, or future participation in BXE activities prevent you from coming. All are welcome!

The strategy meeting will include three sections.

1.) Evaluation of what we’ve done
2.) Long term visioning
3.) Creation of a one year plan

RSVP to ACTIONS@BeyondExtremeEnergy.org if you plan to attend all or parts of this meeting.

Supporters of this Day of Action

OVEC-Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Delaware Riverkeeper Network
Safe Energy Rights Group, Inc.
Coalition for Responsible Siting of LNG Facilities
River Healers
Wild Virginia
Agape Community
Center for Health, Environment & Justice
198 methods
The Enviro Show
No Fracked Gas in Mass
Lancaster Against Pipelines
Resist Spectra
Safe Energy Rights Group (SEnRG)
Berks Gas Truth
Communities for Safe and Sustainable Energy
Bold Alliance
ECHO Action NH: #FossilFree603
PAUSE- People of Albany United for Safe Energy
350NYC
SCRAM
Center for Biological Diversity
StopNED
Alliance To Protect Our People And The Places We Live
Food & Water Watch
Toxics Action Center
Berkshire Environmental Action Team
The Shalom Center
North Jersey Pipeline Walkers
Resist the Pipeline
Damascus Citizens for Sustainability
Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air
Northern NJ Chapter, National Organization for Women
Earthworks
Earthworks
The Essene Church of Peace
Global Coalition for Peace
Gas Free Seneca
Seneca Lake Guardian, A Waterkeeper Affiliate
Sullivan Area Citizens for Responsible Energy Development (SACRED)
Christians For The Mountains
Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community
Athens County (Ohio) Fracking Action Network
STOP (Sandisfield Taxpayers Opposing the Pipeline)
Frack Free Genesee
Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy
Sullivan Alliance for Sustainable Development
NJ State Industrial Union Council
350NJ
350 Central Mass
Aytzim: Ecological Judaism
Potomac Riverkeeper Network
Green Education and Legal Fund
Interfaith Moral Action on Climate
350 Fairfax
Pay it Forward Global Foundation
Greenbrier river association
New Hampshire Pipeline Awareness
New progressive Alliance
AMP Creeks Council
Lebanon Pipeline Awareness
Norfolk Catholic Worker
New Mexico Story Power
OgreOgress productions
http://www.kevinrauch.com
NH Pipeline Resistance
Catskill Mountainkeeper
Bucks County Environmental Action
Schuylkill Pipeline Awareness
Mason Pipeline Committee
LAWPA (Local Authority Western PA)
Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA)
Grassroots Environmental Education
Philadelphia PSR
Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion
100grannies for a Livable Future
LEPOCO Peace Center (Lehigh-Pocono Comittee of Concern)
Coalition to Protect New York
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
Green Party of Santa Clara County
Organic Consumers Association
The Shalom Center
People Demanding Action
Rachel Carson Council
Sierra Club New York city Group
Earth Echoes….Stories for a small planet
Protect Our Water Heritage Rights – POWHR
Interreligious Eco-Justice Network
Amistad Catholic Worker
Hip Hop Caucus
Schuylkill Pipeline Awareness
Oil Change International
Greenpeace

 

Fighting White Supremacy with Rabbi Mordechai Liebling

Once every two weeks, Beyond Extreme Energy hosts a conference call on fighting white supremacy. We invite a speaker from inside or outside our network to share an experience or story about their involvement with the fight against white supremacy.

On Tuesday, September 12th at 7pm ET, we’ll be joined by Rabbi Mordechai Liebling who will talk about his experience at the recent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. He will also talk about his understanding of the white supremacists and the challenges of developing non-violent direct action tactics in these situations.

After Rabbi Liebling’s talk, we will hold a discussion. All are welcome!

Rabbi Mordechai Liebling is the Director of the Social Justice Organizing Program at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philly. He serves on the steering  committee of Green Justice Philly, a city-wide coalition of environmental, community and labor organizations. He has been involved in anti-racist work for several decades.

Date: Tuesday, September 12th. 2017
Time: 7pm ET-8pm ET
Call-In: 302-202-1108
Code: 950727

Stop Trump’s Dirty Energy Agenda; The Change Starts Here

We need a big showing at FERC’s September meeting! We’ll have a rally before the meeting begins and then we’ll be inside the meeting, in overflow rooms, outside chanting, and some of us will even go to Capitol Hill to lobby. We’ll be chanting, disrupting, showing solidarity, and lobbying.

thumbnail_September 20 meme_final FERC

Here’s why!

FERC is set to reconvene on September 20th with Trump’s Senate-approved commissioners Robert Powelson and Neil Chatterjee eager to use their newly minted rubber stamps.

All of this is happening as the Senate and House are moving bills that would expand FERC’s authority. One of the House bills actually strips the president of the border crossing authority used to stop Keystone XL and gives it to FERC. But the worst of the bills is the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, S. 1460. It expands FERC’s authority by requiring other permitting agencies to “give deference” to FERC and it limits FERC’s review of LNG facilities to 45 days.

Haven’t they been reading the headlines? The same problems we’ve been telling them about for more than a year are starting to get some notice.

Pallone & Cantwell Request Expanded FERC Investigation of Rover Pipeline & Its Parent Company

Court Rejects Pipeline Rubber-Stamp, Orders Climate Impact Review

Federal court rejects Constitution Pipeline’s lawsuit against NY

Rushed approvals, refusal to consider climate impacts, approvals with insufficient information. And Congress wants to expand FERC’s authority?

No way! Unacceptable!

Will you help us send that message to FERC and Congress on September 20th?

Here’s how YOU can help!

Organizations – please endorse our action here

Individuals – sign up to attend the rally and the other actions on the 20th here

Everyone – share the Facebook event here

RALLY, 8:30 a.m. at FERC, 888 First St NE, Washington, DC 20426

Program TBA – Stay Tuned!

FERC Meeting,10 a.m.

Lobbying on the Hill, meetings being scheduled – Be sure to indicate that you’re interested in lobbying on the sign-up form.

BXE’s Statement on the Restoration of FERC’s Quorum

Standing alone in the Well of the Senate on Thursday night, just after 6pm and moments before the Senate adjourned for August recess, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski committed a deft coup d’etat on behalf of the oil and gas industry. The vote to confirm Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was anything but un-controversial, and was a serious breach of regular order.

Just hours earlier, seven activists were arrested in front of Senator Chuck Schumer’s office. They had refused to leave until the Minority Leader spoke out about the dangers of FERC nominees and an energy bill that would dramatically expand FERC’s powers. The activists, including several of Schumer’s constituents, had delivered a letter backed by more than 30,000 comments of support asking him to vote no on FERC nominees and no on the energy bill. Hours later, Schumer and every member of the Democratic Caucus, including 3 senators who had previously voted against the nominees in committee, stood silent as Murkowski rammed through the nominations on a voice vote with no other members present, no accountability, and no opportunity for citizens to call or contact their senators to voice concerns.

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For years, we’ve worked to expose and fight FERC’s corruption, the harms it inflicts on communities and the climate,  its ties to the gas industry,  and its arcane procedures that shut out the public and empower corporations. Senators like Schumer, Cardin, Warner, Whitehouse, Sanders, Hirono and Merkley have sympathized and offered statements of support. On Thursday night, August 3rd, when it actually mattered, they stood aside and let violence be done on our communities. As we warned Senator Schumer, they must now expect our growing rebellion. We cannot forgive and will not forget this utter betrayal, and pledge outright resistance in every way we can peacefully muster it to stop FERC from meeting, rubber stamping permits and engaging in further communicide.

–Drew Hudson and the Beyond Extreme Energy crew

RESISTANCE GROWING AS 180 GROUPS CALL FOR A “NO” VOTE ON TRUMP’S FERC NOMINEES

RESISTANCE GROWING AS 180 GROUPS CALL FOR A “NO” VOTE ON TRUMP’S FERC NOMINEES

FERC’s Industry Bias Puts Communities at Risk From Pipeline Explosions. Over 200 Groups Call for Senate Hearings on FERC Rubber Stamping of Pipelines

Washington DC//June 28, 2017 – Faced with the growing scourge of pipeline expansion nationwide, 180 groups — including Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch, Green America, the Center for Biological Diversity, and community-level organizations — are calling for the full Senate to vote “no” on President Trump’s nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  The full list of 180 groups is available online at http://bit.ly/2r1xSSk.

The coalition of organizations is opposing the nominations of Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson because both nominees would increase FERC’s bias towards the fossil fuel industry and further marginalize communities that oppose pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure that damage people’s homes, livelihoods and communities.

Natural gas pipelines and infrastructure represent a clear danger to communities nationwide, and in just the past two years, explosions at transmission pipelines have caused 12 deaths and 10 injuries, as well as extensive property damage (http://bit.ly/2tSeI0h). In addition, the construction process puts communities at risk. Recently, the Rover pipeline, under construction and approved by FERC, resulted in two million gallons of drilling fluids leaking into Ohio wetlands.

Community opposition to pipelines, based on data documenting the real risks, is regularly rejected by FERC, which has approved all but one pipeline under review in the past 30 years. FERC’s rubber stamping of industry pipelines has been documented in a People’s Dossier: FERC’s Abuses of Power and Law created by Delaware Riverkeeper Network that has been presented to all US Senators (http://bit.ly/DossierofFERCAbuse).

In a related development, over 200 groups nationwide are calling on senators to hold hearings into FERC’s rubber stamping of natural gas pipelines and infrastructure nationwide and the need for reforms (http://bit.ly/2sOmUQN).  With the White House designating this week as Energy Week, including a renewed call for US “energy dominance” in fossil fuels, and increased fracking and natural gas exports, communities nationwide face increased threats to their lives and livelihoods. Members of these groups, representing millions of people nationwide, have been calling their senators and took part in two days of lobbying in May to raise awareness of FERC’s failure to regulate pipelines.

“While Democrats and Republicans in the Senate bemoan the lack of a quorum at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Beyond Extreme Energy joins with frontline communities across the nation that are fighting fracked gas pipelines, compressor stations and gas export terminals [CUT to celebrate] [ADD in relief] that no new infrastructure can be approved without that quorum,” said Melinda Tuhus of Beyond Extreme Energy.  “We carried out non-violent direct action every month at FERC for more than two years, interrupting its rubber stamping meetings, and we did it again at both the Senate hearing and the committee vote for Trump’s two nominees. This is a climate crisis and a health and safety crisis for frontline communities and we will not accept the status quo.”

“Communities in the crosshairs of natural gas infrastructure projects get educated very fast about the potential adverse impacts, yet their valid concerns are ignored by FERC,” said Karen Feridun, founder of Berks Gas Truth.  “When disasters occur like the Texas Eastern pipeline explosion in Pennsylvania last year that nearly killed a man, they are reflections of not only problems with the infrastructure itself, but of problems with the process that allowed the infrastructure to be built in the first place. It is that broken process that has brought hundreds of organizations together to pressure Congress to vote no on two FERC nominees who will make one of the worst Commissions much worse.”

“FERC is a regulator in name only,” said Todd Larsen, executive co-director of Green America. “The reality is that FERC routinely ignores the very real risks of pipelines to communities and approves pipelines and infrastructure that can cause death, injury, and millions of dollars in property damage, all while accelerating fracking in the [ADD periods U.S.] and contributing to the climate crisis. That is why the Senate needs to vote “no” on FERC nominees and instead hold hearings into FERC’s abuses.”

Media Contacts:  

Natalie Watson, (703) 276-3256 or nwatson@hastingsgroup.com.

About the Groups:

Paul Gierosky is a successful businessman and homeowner in Medina, OH, who is a leader of the Coalition to Reroute Nexus (CoRN), a group focused on re-routing the Nexus pipeline away from vulnerable homes.

Marvin Winstead is a farmer in NC whose farm is bisected by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) is a nonprofit membership organization working throughout the four states of the Delaware River Watershed including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York. DRN provides effective environmental advocacy, volunteer monitoring programs, stream restoration projects, public education, and legal enforcement of environmental protection laws. http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/.  

Green America is the nation’s leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America (formerly Co-op America) provides economic strategies and practical tools for businesses and individuals to solve today’s social and environmental problems. http://www.GreenAmerica.org.

Beyond Extreme Energy is an activist network of organizations and individuals that came together in the summer of 2014 to organize a successful, week-long nonviolent direct action campaign in Washington DC from November 1-7. Through those campaigns and other actions, we can build the people power that leads to a political tipping point that seriously sets back the fossil fuel industry’s efforts to keep the world dependent on fracking, nuclear reactors, mountaintop removal coal extraction, tar sands oil and other dirty and dangerous forms of energy. https://beyondextremeenergy.org/.

Berks Gas Truth is a grassroots citizens’ group fighting to bring an end to unconventional natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania.

Call-Out for LTE’s on Upcoming FERC Vote in the Senate!

The more we can throw FERC into the limelight and put our senators on the spot for their unacceptable acceptance of business as usual, the better. To that end, please take a few moments this week to submit a Letter to the Editor (LTE) to your local paper regarding the FERC Vacancies Campaign.

Todd Larsen from Green America provided the FERC Vacancies Coalition with advice and a template for writing an LTE in opposition to Trump’s FERC nominations. Please take a look at the below material, and consider sending in your own LTE to local press outlets.

============================

This advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists is helpful:  http://www.ucsusa.org/action/writing-an-lte.html#.WNfI-jvyvIU

It is best to write in response to an article that was run in the paper/new source and reference that article in the first sentence, keep the LTE short (200 words is ideal and no more than 300), and provide full contact info at the end.

TEMPLATE LETTER

[Insert leading sentence or two regarding a previous article or connecting your letter to local interests/recent events]. As early as next week, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources could vote to approve climate denier Neil Chatterjee and friend of the industry Robert Powelson to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the most powerful agency many people are likely to know little or nothing about. This agency is responsible for rubber stamping fracked gas pipelines and infrastructure projects that damage the land, air, and drinking water of communities nationwide, as well as the global climate. In the past 30 years, FERC has sided with the fossil fuel industry repeatedly and has rejected only one pipeline. Currently, FERC only has two commissioners and thus lacks a quorum, preventing the agency from approving new projects. That’s why nearly 170 organizations nationwide are using this moment to demand that the Senate reject both Chatterjee and Powelson, and thereby prevent FERC’s approval of any more pipelines until Congress holds hearings on the agency’s pro-industry bias and refusal to listen to the legitimate concerns of communities. Congress needs to take steps to replace FERC with an agency dedicated to a just transition off fossil fuels. Holding hearings would be a first step. Senators [XX and XX – of your state] need to take a strong stand to oppose Chatterjee and Powelson. Let’s call our senators and make sure they know we want them to vote no!

FULL NAME
ADDRESS
CONTACT EMAIL
CONTACT PHONE

(Newspapers will need to contact you to ensure that you actually wrote the LTE and approve of publication.  They may also want to edit the piece and run edits by you)

Post ‘jihad’ kerfuffle, regulator aims to step into spotlight

Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter
Published: Wednesday, May 17, 2017
https://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2017/05/17/stories/1060054674

President Trump has nominated National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Robert Powelson to serve as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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Photo courtesy of @NARUC via Twitter.

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner Robert Powelson has a similar style to President Trump.

Powelson, who last week was nominated by Trump to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is not afraid to speak his mind, even if it means veering into politically incorrect territory, like when he said in March that pipeline opponents were engaged in a “jihad.”

He’s also OK with standing up to (and putting down) more established political figures, such as when he criticized New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for his state’s cautious approach on pipeline permitting or Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) for his support of a hydraulic fracturing ban.

But under the brash approach is an intelligent, well-qualified regulator who has aspired to leadership roles at every step in his career, say friends and supporters.

Powelson got his start working at chambers of commerce in Pennsylvania, first the Delaware County Chamber and then Chester County’s. After 14 years as president and CEO at the latter, he was nominated by Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell to the Public Utility Commission in 2008. He led the PUC as chairman for four years under Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.

He is also the current president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, a position that has served as a pipeline to the federal commission in recent years. If confirmed, Powelson would be the third NARUC president to move to FERC since 2012.

Powelson is not a fan of the Clean Power Plan and instead favors “market-based decarbonization,” which he says has been responsible for power plant emission reductions in Pennsylvania. He is an advocate for states’ rights and supports an “all of the above,” hybrid approach to energy generation.

Another area of similarity between Powelson and Trump is that Powelson is willing to talk about and advocate for less popular approaches that might challenge conventional wisdom.

An example is when he expressed support in 2015 for decoupling, or separating utilities’ electricity sales from their revenues. The idea is to remove disincentives for utilities to encourage conservation and energy efficiency measures, which under the traditional system would decrease sales — and revenues. In a decoupled system, utilities could structure their rates to reflect the actual cost of maintaining infrastructure, rather than on how much electricity customers take from the grid.

The practice has been supported by environmentalists but is generally opposed by consumer advocates and utilities and has been adopted in some form in 23 states — but not Pennsylvania.

“Personally, I think PA needs to come out of the stone ages here,” he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2015.

‘Extremely pro-natural gas’

Despite his openness to innovation, Powelson is seen by some in Pennsylvania, which one observer called a “very pro-industry state when it comes to the regulatory system,” as overly friendly to the companies he has been tasked with regulating.

“He is extremely pro-natural gas, to the point where I have to question whether he would be objective enough to really sort of look at the harm that is done by various natural gas infrastructure proposals,” said Joe Minott, executive director of the Philadelphia-based Clean Air Council.

“His jihadist comment, I think, is an excellent reflection of how he sees any opposition to moving ahead with natural gas. He’s the epitome of Sarah Palin’s ‘drill, baby, drill,'” Minott said.

Speaking to gas industry representatives at Pennsylvania’s Upstream PA conference March 21, Powelson made the “jihad” comment in reference to anti-pipeline activists who had picketed the homes of FERC commissioners in 2016, according to StateImpact.

“The jihad has begun,” he said. “At the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, groups actually show up at commissioners’ homes to make sure we don’t get this gas to market. How irresponsible is that?”

Powelson later acknowledged his choice of words was inappropriate.

But the incident remains a jarring symbol for people like Lynda Farrell, who directs the Pipeline Safety Coalition in Pennsylvania.

“I would say anyone who characterizes landowners and civilians seeking to protect their rights and their quality of life as jihadists should not serve in public office,” she said. “You don’t make that kind of a statement as a slip of the tongue.”

Supporters of Powelson disagree with that characterization.

“Looking at one flash in time I don’t think is a fair analysis of Rob. There are plenty of times where he has spoken out clearly and candidly and critically of industry, the people that we’re regulating,” said John Coleman, who has served with Powelson on the Pennsylvania PUC since 2010.

“In his view, if you’re violating what he sees as the rules of engagement, you’re going to hear from him,” Coleman said.

From NARUC to FERC

Unlike Kevin McIntyre, a likely pick to lead the energy regulatory agency whose Jones Day colleague Don McGahn worked on the Trump campaign and landed a key job as White House counsel, Powelson does not appear to have concrete personal ties to the president.

He also does not have the congressional connections that fellow nominee Neil Chatterjee, a longtime energy aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), can use as the confirmation process advances.

It’s possible Powelson caught the attention of the White House during the transition. NARUC leaders had what he called an “intense dialogue” with the administration’s transition team, in the form of a call with Trump’s energy transition leader, American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle (Energywire, Feb 1).

In the call and a follow-up letter to Pyle, Powelson emphasized updates to infrastructure and called on the president to reduce “federal overreach” on energy issues including generation resource allocation, net metering and electric transmission siting authority.

The emphasis on states’ rights is an important one to Powelson and others he has worked with, some of whom are celebrating the potential addition of a state regulator to the federal body.

“We always want to make sure that FERC appreciates what we believe as a policy matter are firmly within our purview as state officials and state regulators,” said Richard Mroz, president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.

“Sometimes a particular state perspective can get lost in very complex issues, with a lot of intervenors, a lot of parties. I just think it’s good to know that someone there, a commissioner, will still be mindful of what is important to state commissions and ultimately to the consumers in our states,” Mroz said.

Kevin Hughes, chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission, said Powelson has “a keen appreciation for the role and responsibility of states to ensure that their citizens have access to reliable and affordable power.”

Powelson said in February that he thought state regulators would take leadership roles as Trump appointees in agencies. In one case, at least, that prediction was prescient.

In another interview, Powelson said he saw a “very clear edict” in his dealings with the Trump administration. “We’re going to invest in infrastructure, and we are going to do it in a very efficient manner, and with respect to environmental protection, obviously,” he said.

The overlap between his priorities and Trump’s is likely not coincidental, some observers say.

“I had heard that he was lobbying pretty hard for this. I think he was able to persuade the Trump administration that he was able to reflect their values when it comes to regulating,” said Minott.

Twitter: @samjmintz Email: smintz@eenews.net