President Trump has unexpectedly named a new chairman to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the influential panel charged with overseeing major natural gas pipeline approvals and wholesale electricity markets.
Republican Commissioner and staunch conservative James Danly will replace current Republican Chairman Neil Chatterjee as head of the independent agency, according to a FERC statement released tonight.
"It has been my utmost pleasure to have served under Neil Chatterjee, both as General Counsel and alongside him as Commissioner," Danly said in a statement. "I thank Neil for his leadership, and I look forward to continuing to work with him in this new role."
The move came a month after Chatterjee spearheaded a daylong technical conference exploring the possibility of implementing a carbon tax into wholesale electricity markets.
Chatterjee took to Twitter to say he was proud of the work he has done while FERC chairman.
"But I learned a long time ago on Capitol Hill, nothing gets done in DC without compromise. We have more work to do. And I'm ready to face it head on through my term in 2021," he said.
Chatterjee has served as FERC chairman since 2018. Danly was appointed to the panel in March of this year. Prior to that he served as general counsel to the commission. Chatterjee previously served as policy adviser on energy to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).