Senator Barrasso Statement on FERC Nominees Rosner, See, and Chang

June 4, 2024

“The Commission is an independent agency and a non-partisan regulator. It is not simply an extension of the White House.”

Click here to watch Senator Barrasso’s opening remarks.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), delivered remarks at a business meeting to consider nominations to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The business meeting considered the nominations of:

  • Mr. David Rosner to be a Member of the FERC for a term expiring June 30, 2027;
  • Ms. Lindsay S. See to be a Member of the FERC for a term expiring June 30, 2028;
  • Ms. Judy W. Chang to be a Member of the FERC for a term expiring June 30, 2029.

For more information on the business meeting click here.

Senator Barrasso’s remarks: 

Thanks so much, Mr. Chairman.

Thanks for holding today’s business meeting.

“This morning, we are going to consider three nominations to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“The Commission or FERC is often referred to as ‘the most important agency that you’ve never heard of.’

“FERC regulates the interstate transmission of electricity and the interstate transportation of oil and natural gas.

“It assures that rates for electric power in the wholesale market are ‘just and reasonable.’

“It oversees electric reliability.

“And it licenses interstate natural gas pipelines, liquefied natural gas terminals, and hydropower projects.

“By one estimate, the Commission regulates activities that account for 7 percent of our nation’s economy.

“For that reason, we must fulfill our responsibility to maintain a quorum on the Commission.

In 2015 and 2016, President Obama refused to fill the vacancies left by two Republican Commissioners.

“Then, in January 2017, the outgoing Chairman of FERC resigned.

“That departure left the Commission without a quorum.

“It then took seven months to restore the quorum at FERC.

“During that time, too many projects that helped keep the lights on, heat our homes, and aid on friends abroad were put on hold.

“We can’t let that happen again.

“Too much is at stake for American workers, for our energy security, and for our nation’s economy.

“That is why I am glad we are acting on these nominees today.

“And while I may not agree with each of the nominees at all times, all of them are well qualified.

“I am especially supportive of Ms. Lindsay See.

“Ms. See is an outstanding appellate lawyer.

“She has spent the last seven years as Solicitor General of the Chairman’s home state of West Virginia.

“Ms. See has fought tirelessly for affordable and reliable energy for American families.

“She has argued two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“In one of those cases, she successfully advocated on behalf of West Virginia as well as my home state of Wyoming.

“Ms. See is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where she served as Executive Editor of the Harvard Law Review.

“After law school, she clerked for Judge Thomas Griffith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

“If confirmed, she will bring her impressive experience working with complex statutes to the Commission.

“Ms. See is well positioned to help ensure the Commission adheres faithfully to its statutory mandates.

“This is particularly important in light of the Commission’s recent decisions.

“Last month, on a purely partisan vote, FERC issued a landmark order that will dramatically change how regional electric transmission is planned and paid for.

“The Commission ignored the limitations of its own authority and its mission to be a non-partisan regulator.

“I am deeply troubled that Chairman Phillips and Commissioner Clements pursued a sweeping policy change over the strong objections of Commissioner Christie.

“In 2022, Commissioner Christie voted in favor of FERC’s proposed rule.

“He was willing to support a rule that was consistent with the Commission’s mandate.

“Yet Chairman Phillips and Commissioner Clements chose to go it alone when issuing the final rule.

“The Commission can and must do better.

“The Commission is an independent agency and a non-partisan regulator.

“It is not simply an extension of the White House.

It must not set its statutory mandate aside or subordinate it to the President’s political objectives.

“Shortly after our nomination hearing, I met with Ms. Chang.

“We had a productive discussion.

“Ms. Chang reiterated that she will honor and adhere FERC’s independent and non-partisan mission.

“Ms. Chang committed to uphold FERC’s statutory mandate to encourage the development of abundant supplies of natural gas at reasonable prices.

“She told me that the Commission’s role is not to regulate greenhouse gas emissions or address climate change.

“She committed to work to ensure that the rest of the country doesn’t experience the high energy costs and threats to reliability that her home state of Massachusetts continues to face.

“I am taking Ms. Chang at her word.

“And I believe that the addition of three nominees together would improve the Commission’s current makeup.

“Therefore, I plan to support all the nominees before us today.

“Thank you Mr. Chairman.”