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Washington Examiner: Wondering What Trump's Latest Nominee Would Mean for the Electric Grid

Posted by Josh Siegel & Abby Smith on Oct 2, 2019

Washington Examiner's 'Daily on Energy' covered Trump's Republican nominee for FERC, quoting AEE's Jeff Dennis. Read excerpts below and the entire Washington Examiner piece here.

Clean energy groups worry that President Trump’s new Republican nominee for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, James Danly, would take a hands-off approach to the role, meaning he could be reluctant to push through changes to modernize the electric grid.

Not much is known in utility industry circles about Danly, the FERC general counsel since 2017 and a former lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, but he did hint at his view of the role of FERC members in a speech in April at Skadden's Energy Regulation and Litigation Group's 14th Annual Energy Conference in which he espoused a “humble regulator approach.”

“With Danly, the high level concern is ensuring that FERC can react quickly enough to the fast changing power grid,” John Moore, director of the Sustainable FERC Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told Josh. “Can FERC be nimble enough to act quickly when new barriers occur that need to be removed? For that reason, I question whether the humble regulator means passivity — or does it mean something else? He is a little bit of a black box because we don't really know what he means in a lot of respects.”

Jeff Dennis of Advanced Energy Economy, a trade group supporting the clean energy industry, has similar questions about Danly.

“We're looking forward to learning more about his reported ‘humble regulator’ approach and how that will translate to FERC's mission, particularly with respect to improving wholesale power market competition and removing barriers to participation in those markets faced by advanced energy technologies,” said Dennis, AEE’s general counsel and managing director...

Others say Danly should have no trouble being confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate, and say he has proven to be smart and thoughtful in his current role at FERC.

Read the entire Washington Examiner piece here. 

Topics: AEE In The News