September 28, 2020

Volume X, Number 272

September 28, 2020

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FERC Commissioner Bernard McNamee Won’t Seek Renomination

This morning at FERC’s open meeting, Commissioner Bernard McNamee announced that he will not seek renomination once his term expires on June 30, 2020. He stated that he will stay until his successor is selected, so that the Commission does not lose its quorum.

Commissioner McNamee’s willingness to continue to serve on the Commission until he is replaced could help avoid any quorum issues. The Commission is already down to three members, two of whom are required to recuse on certain matters due to previous employment – and three voting Commissioners are required for the Commission to take action. 

Current FERC general counsel James Danly was nominated for one of the two current open seats, but his nomination was not advanced to the floor of the Senate before December 31, 2019 and therefore, the president must renominate him (or an alternative choice) for reconsideration in the current session. The remaining seat remains open. If Commissioner McNamee were to leave the Commission and the other seats remain unfilled, there would be no quorum.

©2020 Pierce Atwood LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 23


About this Author

Ruta Skučas Energy Electric Natural Gas Attorney

Ruta Skučas counsels her clients on energy issues, focusing primarily on electric and natural gas matters, before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), state and federal entities, including federal courts and state public utility commissions. Her clients range from financial institutions and power marketers to traditional utilities.

Ruta's clients benefit from her years of experience working at FERC. Following graduation from law school, she served as law clerk to several FERC Administrative...

Randall S. Rich Pierce Atwood Partner DC Energy Energy Infrastructure Project Development & Finance

Randall Rich is the Leader of our Energy Practice Group and the partner-in-charge of the Washington, DC office. Throughout his over 38 years of experience, beginning in the Office of General Counsel of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and continuing for more than 23 years at Bracewell, LLP, Randy always strives to form close personal bonds with clients as well as trusting relationships with both regulators and his colleagues in the energy bar. He gains an intimate understanding of the business and legal needs of clients by working for extended periods in their offices, hand-in-hand with in-house counsel. Randy guides clients through the rapidly changing regulation of the natural gas industry at the federal and state level, providing sophisticated counseling and representation in contested proceedings, multi-party settlements, applications, rulemakings and enforcement investigations.

Randy represents all segments of the energy and utility industries before the FERC, the U.S. Department of Energy, and state public utility commissions. He provides comprehensive legal counsel on natural gas regulation and policy, pipeline and utility ratemaking, tariffs, certificates and abandonment; natural gas transportation, gathering, marketing and trading; enforcement of and compliance with the Natural Gas Act (NGA), Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 (NGPA), and FERC regulations; natural gas business transactions; and oil pipeline regulation under the Interstate Commerce Act (ICA).

Since joining Pierce Atwood LLP as a partner in the Energy Practice Group in 2009, Randy continues to work with the firm's natural gas, oil and petroleum products clients before FERC and in related matters, including marketer/trader, producer and end-user clients and New England-based gas pipelines, LDCs and end-users with a significant and growing interest in natural gas, and crude oil and products producers, shippers and pipeline owners. He also has worked with consultants to foreign governments to draft new natural gas laws. His long-time representation of the Independent Oil & Gas Association of West Virginia and the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association gives Randy keen insight into the development, production, and marketing of Marcellus and Utica shale natural gas, a game-changing supply of clean, strategically located domestic fuel that will power the eastern United States for the next century.

202- 530-6424
Andrew Kaplan Energy Attorney

Andrew Kaplan focuses his practice on providers of energy storage, demand response, ancillary services, and electricity and gas transmission and supply, both in the wholesale and retail markets. He regularly represents clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Independent System Operators/Regional Transmission Operators (NYISO, ISO-NE, PJM, Midcontinent ISO, California ISO, SPP and ERCOT), and many state public utility commissions. Andrew has won significant rulings before FERC that helped to pave the way for growth among leaders in the energy storage industry....