On November 27, 2018, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (“ENR Committee”) advanced FERC nominee Bernard McNamee to a full vote on the Senate floor. The ENR Committee furthered Mr. McNamee’s nomination with a bipartisan vote of 13-10, with one Democrat joining the entire Republican majority on the ENR Committee. If confirmed by the full Senate, Mr. McNamee will join current FERC Commissioners Cheryl A. LaFleur, Richard Glick, Kevin McIntyre, and Chairman Neil Chatterjee.
During his confirmation hearing held on November 15, 2018, a significant focus was whether Mr. McNamee could be impartial at FERC, given that he took on an active role in the Department of Energy’s (“DOE”) proposed rulemaking regarding grid resilience. While testifying, Mr. McNamee expressed his commitment to be impartial and resource-neutral, despite his role in the DOE rulemaking process on resilience (see November 20, 2018 edition of the WER).
In addition to Mr. McNamee’s nomination, the ENR Committee also approved other energy-related nominees on Tuesday. Dr. Rita Baranwall and Mr. David Vela, nominated to be Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy at DOE and Director of the National Park Service respectively, received unanimous approval by voice vote. With their approval by the ENR Committee, the nominees will now go before the full Senate for a confirmation vote. A copy of the ENR Committee’s press release regarding the nominees’ advancement to the full Senate is available here.