3 takeaways from the FERC confirmation hearing

By Nico Portuondo | 03/22/2024 06:48 AM EDT

The nominees pledged to continue processing natural gas projects, much to the alarm of environmentalists.

Judy Chang, David Rosner and Lindsay See.

(From left) Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominees Judy Chang, David Rosner and Lindsay See testifying Thursday. Francis Chung/POLITICO

President Joe Biden’s three nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission got their taste of Capitol Hill scrutiny Thursday, and their responses did not exactly quell environmental group concerns about the agency “rubber-stamping” natural gas projects.

Democratic nominees David Rosner and Judy Chang and Republican pick Lindsay See told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee they don’t see FERC as an agency equipped to push Biden’s climate goals.

“Under the Federal Power Act, [FERC’s] purpose actually does not have jurisdiction over what resources to choose,” said Chang. “So it’s technology neutral, it’s an economic agency, and so it doesn’t make decisions about which facilities and which power plants to actually build.”


The nominees’ tiptoeing around the agency’s climate responsibilities reflects the realities of the confirmation process. They’ll have to win the support of moderate Democrats — particularly Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).