Cantwell Defends FERC’s Independence

Sen. Cantwell calls for FERC to remain transparent, resist pressure to bail out coal industry at energy hearing.

January 23, 2018

 Sen. Cantwell’s Opening Statement Can Be Found Here.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) raised concerns over the administration’s continued attempts to prop up dying energy technologies which are getting outcompeted in the market.

“Given some of the troubling stories about coal interests and lobbying," said Senator Cantwell "it has never been more important for FERC to maintain its tradition of independence.”

On January 12, 2018, Commissioner Neil Chatterjee reported an ex parte communication with an attorney for FirstEnergy regarding FERC's upcoming decision to reject the transfer of a coal power plant. In reference to this incident, Senator Cantwell said, “The news was troubling to me because it said to me that there were those that were trying to influence FERC on a political aspect as opposed to the thorny economic issues that are at stake here.” Senator Cantwell then asked FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre, “What do you plan to continue to do to make sure FERC is an independent agency?"

The video of Senator Cantwell’s opening statement can be found here. 

Witness testimony will be available online immediately before the start of each hearing at on committee website.