On July 13, 2017, President Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Kevin McIntyre of Virginia to serve as a FERC Commissioner for the term expiring June 30, 2018, and an additional term expiring June 30, 2023.  President Trump announced further that upon confirmation by the United States Senate, Mr. McIntyre will be designated Chairman of FERC.  According to the White House press release announcing the intended nomination, Mr. McIntyre has spent most of his nearly 30-year legal career in private practice. Continue Reading President Trump Intends to Nominate Kevin McIntyre as FERC Commissioner and Designate as Chairman

On June 30, 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (“DOER”) informed the Massachusetts Legislature of its adoption of a 200 MWh energy storage target for electric distribution companies (“EDCs”) to procure “viable and cost-effective energy storage systems” within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  DOER specified that the target is to be achieved by January 1, 2020, and would permit EDCs to identify the most cost-effective applications and the best locations for energy storage deployment, including both in front of the meter and behind the meter applications. Continue Reading Massachusetts Announces 200 MWh Energy Storage Procurement Target

On June 28, 2017, President Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Richard Glick, a Democrat from Virginia, to be a FERC Commissioner for a five-year term ending June 30, 2022.  In addition, on June 30, 2017, Commissioner Colette Honorable announced that June 30, 2017 was her final day as a FERC Commissioner and that she would not be staying past her term (see May 9, 2017 edition of the WER). Continue Reading President Trump Plans to Nominate Richard Glick as FERC Commissioner; Commissioner Colette Honorable Departs FERC

On June 22, 2017, both chambers of the New York State Legislature unanimously passed legislation—Senate Bill 5190 and Assembly Bill 6571 (collectively, the “Bill”)—which would require the New York Public Service Commission (“NYPSC”) to commence a proceeding to establish an Energy Storage Deployment Program for the State of New York within ninety days of the Bill’s effective date.  The Bill would also require that, no later than January 1, 2018, the NYPSC establish a target for the installation of energy storage systems through 2030, and programs that will enable the State of New York to meet those targets.  The Bill now heads to Governor Andrew Cuomo for signature. Continue Reading New York Legislature Unanimously Passes Bill Directing NYPSC to Establish Energy Storage Target by January 1, 2018

On June 6, 2017, the United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources voted to advance the nominations of FERC Nominees Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to the Senate floor.  The Committee approved both Nominee Chatterjee and Nominee Powelson by a vote of 20-3 each.  The vote follows the Nominees’ public testimony before the Committee on May 25, 2017 (see May 31, 2017 edition of the WER).

If the Nominees are confirmed by the Senate and sworn in, FERC will have a three-Commissioner quorum that is required to conduct business under the Department of Energy Organization Act (see February 21, 2017 edition of the WER).

On May 25, 2017, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominees Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, marking their first joint appearance before the Committee since their nomination by President Trump (see May 9, 2017 edition of the WER). Continue Reading FERC Nominees Chatterjee and Powelson Testify before Senate Energy Committee

President Donald Trump will nominate Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson as FERC Commissioners, the White House announced on Monday.

Chatterjee has been the energy policy adviser to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell since 2012.  Prior to that, Chatterjee worked as a lobbyist for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.  Powelson has served as a Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (“Pennsylvania PUC”) since 2008 and was Chairman of the Pennsylvania PUC for four years.  Powelson is also currently serving a one-year term as president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

If Chatterjee and Powelson are confirmed by the U.S. Senate and sworn in, FERC will no longer be without a quorum (see February 21, 2017 edition of the WER).

A copy of the White House’s announcement may be found here.

On April 28, 2017, Commissioner Colette Honorable announced that she will not pursue another term as a Commissioner at FERC after her current term expires June 30, 2017.  Commissioner Honorable is serving her first term with the Commission.  After she was appointed by President Obama, she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 16, 2014 (see December 19, 2014 edition of the WER).  Prior to joining FERC, Commissioner Honorable was the Chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission and also was president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.  Continue Reading Commissioner Honorable Announces She Will Not Pursue Another Term

On December 5, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (“Eighth Circuit”) ruled that the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota (“District Court”) did not have federal question jurisdiction over the breach of contract suit filed in Great Lakes Transmission Limited Partnership v. Essar Steel Minnesota., LLC. The Eighth Circuit vacated the lower court’s $32.9 million judgment in favor of the pipeline and remanded for dismissal.  Continue Reading Eighth Circuit Rules No Federal Question Jurisdiction Over Breach of Contract Claim Involving Pipeline Transportation Agreement