Commissioner LaFleur Appointed Acting Chairman of FERC; Commissioner Bay Resigns, Preventing Quorum Needed for FERC Action

On January 26, 2017, President Trump appointed Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur Acting Chairman of FERC. Acting Chairman LaFleur has been a member of the Commission since 2010, and previously served as Acting Chairman from November 2013 to July 2014, and as Chairman from July 2014 until April 2015.

Also on January 26, 2017, Commissioner Norman Bay notified President Trump that he was resigning as a FERC Commissioner, effective Friday, February 3, 2017. Commissioner Bay’s resignation will leave FERC with only two sitting Commissioners. Under the Department of Energy Organization Act, FERC must have at least three Commissioners to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Thus, until President Trump appoints at least one more Commissioner, and that Commissioner is confirmed by the United States Senate and the nominee is sworn in, FERC will be unable to vote on matters requiring action by the Commission itself. However, under long-standing delegations, the Secretary and Office Directors can act on certain uncontested matters and take other actions.

A copy of FERC’s press release on Commissioner LaFleur’s appointment as Acting Chairman can be found here, and a copy of Commissioner Bay’s resignation letter can be found here.