Biden names three nominees to independent energy regulator

President Biden on Thursday announced three new nominations to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which, if confirmed, would make the independent commission majority Biden appointees.

Biden’s FERC nominees include Democrats David Rosner and Judy Chang and Republican Lindsay See. Under FERC’s rules, no more than three of its five commissioners may be from a single party. Democratic commissioner Allison Clements’ term is set to expire at the end of June and two slots have long been vacant.

Rosner, an energy industry analyst within FERC’s Office of Energy Policy and Innovation, is also currently a detail staffer for the Senate Energy Committee’s Democratic majority.

See currently works as solicitor general for West Virginia, and argued on behalf of the state before the Supreme Court in the 2022 case West Virginia vs. EPA, in which 19 Republican states successfully challenged the Obama-era Clean Power Plan regulating power plants’ transition away from fossil fuels.

Chang, a lecturer in public policy at Harvard University, previously served as Undersecretary of Energy and Climate Solutions for Massachusetts and has previously submitted expert testimonies to FERC.

Biden previously appointed current FERC chair Willie Phillips in 2021 following the expiration of Chair Richard Glick’s term. 

Environmental group Friends of the Earth blasted the nomination of Rosner in a statement Thursday, pointing to his history of backing the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry and his work for Energy Committee Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and for the Bipartisan Policy Center, a bipartisan think tank that has received funding from major oil companies like Shell and ExxonMobil. 

“The only thing worse than a Joe Manchin staffer on FERC is a Joe Manchin staffer who used to work for a fossil fuel front group,” FOE climate and energy deputy director Lukas Ross said in a statement.

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