Timely Confirmations are Key to Restoring Quorum at FERC, Building Strong Team at DOE
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today chaired a hearing for President Trump’s nominees for key positions at two federal agencies: Dan Brouillette to be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE), and Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to be members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
“I am pleased to have these nominees before our committee this morning,” Murkowski said. “This hearing is an important step in our efforts to restore a quorum at FERC, and to ensure that Secretary Perry has a good team in place at his Department. I believe Mr. Brouillette, Mr. Chatterjee, and Mr. Powelson are all well-qualified, and deserve to move quickly through the process to confirmation.”
Murkowski opened the hearing by acknowledging the nominees’ willingness to serve our nation, as well as their backgrounds and expertise.
“Neil Chatterjee is well-known to all of us here on the dais,” Murkowski said. “He is a first-rate energy professional. His ability to bring decision makers with distinct perspectives together and his consideration of all points of view will serve him well as FERC commissioner.”
“Robert Powelson hails from a major energy producing and consuming state, and has served as a leader for years on the Public Utility Commission of Pennsylvania,” Murkowski continued. “As the current president of NARUC, he has been recognized by his state commission colleagues, including several Alaska regulators, for his leadership on utility issues. I share their support for his nomination to FERC.”
Finally, Murkowski spoke to Brouillette’s broad experience working on energy issues in both the public and private sectors.
“This will be Mr. Brouillette’s second turn at the Department of Energy, having previously served as assistant secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs,” Murkowski said. “He brings a wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors, which will enable him to be a capable partner to Secretary Perry when developing, implementing, and managing our nation’s energy programs.”
During her line of questioning, Murkowski pressed Chatterjee and Powelson on the proposed Alaska gasline, and received their commitment to review the project in a fair and timely manner, should they be confirmed. She also questioned Brouillette about the Department’s ability to help address high energy costs in Alaska, and received his commitment to work collaboratively on innovative solutions.
Murkowski is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. An archived video and witness testimony from today’s hearing are available on the committee’s website.