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Utility Dive: Massachusetts State Rep, Favored by Renewables Industry, Emerges Among the Frontrunners to Fill FERC Seat

Posted by Catherine Morehouse on Jun 28, 2021

Utility Dive summarized FERC’s need to fill an empty commissioner seat, noting former AEE staffer Maria Robinson as a top candidate. Read snippets below and the full article here. Read additional coverage from MetroWest Daily News here, Nation of Change here, and Politico here, and here

Maria Duaime Robinson, a Massachusetts state representative, is among the frontrunners to replace Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Neil Chatterjee, sources confirm.

Though a final nominee has not yet been announced, Robinson has been vetted by the White House and is considered a favorite among some in the renewable energy industry and among competitive power interests, according to sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the nominee. Before serving as a state representative, Robinson led Advanced Energy Economy's (AEE) wholesale market work.

FERC's next commissioner will be a crucial swing vote on several key issues, including implementing its landmark order lowering barriers to DERs and the commission's proceeding on revisiting its 1999 gas pipeline policy statement.

A critical question on state implementation is whether the commission will eliminate a provision that lets states opt-out of allowing demand response aggregations to bid into wholesale markets.

For the clean energy industry, eliminating that opt-out and ensuring Order 2222 is implemented in a way that lowers market barriers to all DERs are crucial. Robinson's background at AEE and her previous work in renewables procurement for Navigant Consulting make her a good candidate to ensure policies like Order 2222 move forward, said one source in the renewable energy industry.

Robinson's nomination "would show that the administration understands how important appointing a FERC commissioner with a demonstrated record of unwavering commitment to the clean energy transition is to its overall climate agenda," the source said… 

Whoever the White House brings forward will need to get through the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Democrats on the committee — led by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. — have differing priorities, sources say.

Read the full article here.

Topics: AEE In The News