S&P Global Intelligence Quotes Chip Cannon on Changes at FERC

Chip Cannon, co-head of the energy regulation, markets and enforcement practice at Akin Gump, has been quoted in the S&P Global Market Intelligence article “FERC at full strength expected to tackle big policy issues for gas, power.” The article reports that, with all five commissioners now in place, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is ready to take on some big issues, such as the reliability pricing rule pushed by the Energy Department and FERC’s role in wholesale markets with state energy mandates.

Cannon said it will now be easier for FERC to tackle policy issues, although he does not otherwise expect any big changes in commission activity. FERC has been working hard with three members to catch up on the regular business of regulating the electric power and gas industries, he said, “digging out of the hole” that grew deeper during the six months the commission was without this minimum number for voting. Commissioners may also have been hesitant to shake things up with a new chairman about to arrive, he added.

“We’ll see some changes, but in a lot of ways, once their quorum was restored, they were already able to go ahead and start clearing out some of that backlog,” Cannon said.

Cannon offered two main things to watch for once the remaining two commissioners, Kevin McIntyre, President Trump’s pick to become the new chairman, and Richard Glick, assume their roles. “One, McIntyre has a much deeper background in the natural gas industry than [Neil] Chatterjee [the current chairman], so it will be interesting to see what happens on the natural gas side, given that we have a chairman who has a rich experience on the gas side.” Cannon observed that McIntyre, because of his private practice background, has less of a public record than the other commissioners, who have served on agencies and in Congress.

Additionally, Cannon said it will be interesting to see if the individuals named by Chatterjee to the positions of general counsel and chief of staff by will continue in those roles, “or whether McIntyre will replace them with people he has chosen.” He noted these positions can have a significant effect on the shape and direction of commission business.