Science Group Offers Reaction to Nomination Hearing for FERC Appointments

Statement by Rob Cowin, Director of Government Affairs in the Climate and Energy Program at UCS

Published May 25, 2017

WASHINGTON (May 25, 2017)—The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing today to consider President Trump’s nominees to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC): Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson.

Below is a statement by Rob Cowin, director of government affairs for the Climate and Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

“Despite the more moderate tone struck in today’s hearing, Neil Chatterjee’s past statements and policy positions suggest that the energy future he sees is one reliant on fossil fuels regardless of whether or not they are actually needed to provide reliable energy to consumers. Similarly, Robert Powelson has voiced open hostility towards renewable energy tax credits and state renewable energy policies he perceives as adversely impacting other energy sources.

“Falling energy prices through new, clean technologies like wind and solar have brought great consumer and economic benefits, and should be a part of any commonsense energy plan FERC devises in their efforts to modernize electric grid practices and infrastructure. These nominees must recognize that access to clean energy options, including those owned by consumers, is essential to maintaining market competition and providing a cleaner, more efficient, and reliable electricity grid. Allowing bias to creep into FERC decision making that prevents contribution from certain energy sources, such as renewables, is bad for consumers, bad for private investors, and bad for the environment.”