Chip Cannon Quoted by SNL on Priorities for a Reconstituted FERC

Chip Cannon, co-chair of Akin Gump’s energy regulation, markets and enforcement practice, has been quoted in the SNL Energy article “Pipeline applications to be among top priorities of reconstructed FERC,” regarding some of the priorities of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as it tries to operate with several empty seats. The article reports that, even with two appointments by President Trump, FERC will likely remain shorthanded for several months.

Among the first orders of business for FERC, according to Cannon, could be pending pipeline project applications. “I assume those will be toward the forefront of orders issued,” he said.

Once FERC regains the minimum number of commissioners to vote on matters, Cannon predicted that the big policy issues will probably have to wait, though this kind of downtime at FERC is without precedent, he said, and “anything contested or a policy issue, it’s just not getting done.”

Cannon said he does not think a quorum will be restored at FERC before late summer, though the timing could change if the Trump administration adds a Democratic nominee to the Republicans. “I have to think their first priority, regardless of what their policy preferences are, is really to get the FERC up and functioning again,” Cannon noted. “We will have six or seven months of orders that haven’t been issued. … it’s going to take a while to go through and just get rid of the backlog to give them some breathing space to move onto more policy-driven initiatives.”