U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today chaired a hearing to consider the nominations of Mark Christie and Allison Clements to be Members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
“Decisions that FERC Commissioners make matter—not only to the energy sector but to the nation,” Murkowski said. “Approving the siting of natural gas pipelines, investigating energy markets, and licensing hydroelectric projects are just a few of the Commission’s duties. FERC’s economic reach has been estimated at roughly three percent of the gross domestic product, but its real impact is likely greater because energy is a fundamental input.”
FERC currently has three confirmed Members and two vacancies. Christie is the Chairman of the State Corporation Commission of Virginia and one of the nation’s longest-serving state regulators. Clements most recently founded an energy policy and strategy consulting firm, and previously worked for the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
During the question-and-answer portion of the hearing, Murkowski asked both nominees to provide examples from their past experience demonstrating that they would be independent if confirmed to serve at FERC. Murkowski asked Clements about her views on the reliability and resilience of the electric grid, and ended by asking both nominees about whether FERC should have been more aggressive in California given the challenges it is currently facing.
Christie is nominated for a term expiring June 30, 2025 to replace Commissioner Bernard McNamee, who recently departed from FERC after the end of his statutory term. Clements is nominated for a term expiring June 30, 2024, to replace former Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur.
Murkowski is Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.