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Arkansan set to exit U

Arkansan set to exit U

Colette Honorable, the former Arkansas Public Service Commission chairman, released a statement late Friday cheap jerseys saying she wouldn’t seek a reappointment to the job. Her term ends June 30.

The commission, which normally has five members, regulates the nation’s natural gas industry, hydropower plants and interstate electric transmission. The panel needs at least three members to show up before it can formally meet and make major decisions. But with the departure in February of former Chairman Norman Bay, there are only two commissioners remaining.

Energy industry officials have been urging the White House for months to act. A spokesman for President Donald Trump said Friday evening that several nominees will be announced soon, but no timeline has been announced.

[PRESIDENT TRUMP: Timeline, appointments, executive orders + guide to actions in first 100 days]

In an interview Wednesday with the Arkansas Democrat Gazette two days before she announced her decision Honorable said the commission plays a vital role and needs to be able to meet and make decisions. She was nominated by former President Barack Obama and has served since January 2015.

“Our work here is high stakes. We don’t hear dockets that concern hundreds of dollars or thousands of dollars. The cases we hear concern millions of dollars and billions of dollars,” she said.

“Our job at FERC, unless there is some severe weather event or unusual occurrence, is to make sure that when everyday people across the country or in companies or in mom and pop stores flip the light switch, that the lights come on,” she said. “Our work not only is to ensure reliability but also security and safety and most certainly affordability.”

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s inability to do its work is a cause of concern for groups such as the American Gas Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. They had urged Trump in a letter dated Feb. 2 to fill the slots “as quickly as possible so a quorum can be reconstituted without undue delay.”

Signed by more than a dozen organizations that represent the nation’s natural gas, petroleum, hydropower and nuclear industries, it warned that the unfilled seats would prevent the commission from making major policy decisions and threatened to delay timely action on a host of major projects.

“Such delays and inaction could have profound negative impacts for the nation’s electric, natural gas, and oil customers given the need for strong national energy infrastructure and enhanced market access and opportunities,” it said.

James Coleman, who teaches energy law at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, said the regulatory agency plays a vital role because it oversees the nation’s energy infrastructure, regulates wholesale energy prices, safeguards the power grid, weighs in on energy company mergers and signs off on multibillion dollar projects.

“These facilities are really the backbone of the modern economy, because if you want to do manufacturing, what you need is cheap electricity, you need cheap natural gas, you need cheap sources of fuel,” he said.

The commission’s inability to meet “is a really big deal,” Coleman said. “If one of your goals is to build American infrastructure. you’d think this would be a very high priority.”

Although many of the executive offices are empty, the work hasn’t ground completely to a halt, according to Sharon Jacobs, who teaches energy law at the University of http://www.cheapjerseys11.com/ Colorado Law School.

“The agency can still get some business accomplished. Staff has also been empowered to act on other uncontested filings and settlements,” the professor wrote in an email. natural gas resources as well as energy job creation. So I must ascribe any delay to the general trouble this Administration has seemed to face in filling key vacancies across the federal government,” she added.

William Hogan, the Raymond Plank Professor of Global Energy Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, said the nation can’t afford to keep the agency in limbo forever.

“It’s not completely debilitating for a little while, but after a while it becomes a serious problem,” he said. At this point, “It’s a problem, but I wouldn’t characterize it as an emergency yet.”

The commission isn’t the only government agency with empty desks. Senate approval, only 25 have been confirmed, The Washington Post reported Friday afternoon. Forty more have been formally nominated but are still waiting for Senate action. Another 26 have been announced but not formally nominated, the paper said.

In Wednesday’s interview, Honorable expressed hope that Trump would soon fill the empty slots at her agency.

“It is an unprecedented time for us here,” she said. “We’ve never been without a quorum and. we are hoping that we can have a quorum restored as soon as possible.”

Former White House Chief of Staff Mack McLarty, who worked for President Bill Clinton, and others were expressing hope, even early Friday afternoon, that Trump would ask Honorable, a Democrat, to remain.

Under federal law, at least two of the commissioners must be Democrats.

The White House had at least considered the idea.

“I did meet with the transition team and they asked if I would be interested, now that was months ago, and I said I’m certainly open to it,” Honorable said.

Months later, she was still awaiting an answer.

“I haven’t heard that they are no longer interested in my service, nor have I heard that they’d like for me to stay,” she said.

Asked about her future, she said, “I don’t know what happens next.. I love this job, I love my work and I plan on continuing my work in this sector regardless of whether I’m here at FERC or somewhere else.”.
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