Dear Mr. President,
On behalf of the membership of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, I am writing to urge you to nominate three candidates, as soon as possible, to fill the vacancies at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
INGAA represents the interstate natural gas pipeline industry, and our members operate approximately 200,000 miles of pipeline systems that are analogous to the interstate highway system. The interstate pipeline network serves as an indispensable link between natural gas producers and the American homes and businesses that use the fuel for heating, cooking, generating electricity and manufacturing a wide variety of U.S. goods, ranging from plastics to paint to medicines and fertilizer.
Under federal law, these interstate natural gas pipelines must be approved by FERC before they can be constructed and operated.
With the announced resignation of Norman Bay yesterday, FERC on February 3 will have only two sitting commissioners. Since a quorum of three commissioners (out of a full complement of five) is required for most major commission business, this leaves FERC unable to act on pending natural gas infrastructure projects of national importance.
Given your focus on infrastructure and domestic energy resources, we urge you to nominate candidates to fill the commission’s three existing vacancies as quickly as possible. It is important to note that these natural gas pipeline systems are financed with private capital. The most significant barrier to building this infrastructure is often the permitting and approval process, not a lack of financial resources. We must have a functioning FERC to move forward with building this critical energy infrastructure.
INGAA would like to work with your administration to identify qualified nominees to serve at FERC, including at least one nominee with a background in natural gas and pipeline matters. We also pledge to work diligently to support the expeditious confirmation of qualified nominees by the Senate.
Donald F. Santa