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July 23, 2018

MSCI Urges Quick Action On Energy Commission Nomination

Last week, the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) joined the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance to send a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to quickly fill the position left on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by the planned departure this August of Commissioner Robert Powelson.

Powelson’s departure will leave the FERC with only four members, creating a significant risk of deadlock on pending FERC decisions that could authorize critical natural gas pipelines, export facilities, and other energy infrastructure projects.

The letter argued, “In today’s politicized environment surrounding fossil fuel infrastructure … the lack of a supportive majority at FERC could subject these projects to indefinite lengthy delays.” Given the significant number of infrastructure projects either pending or expected to be filed and the U.S. Senate’s focus on the Supreme Court nomination, the earlier the Senate can get started on a FERC commissioner confirmation the better. Any nominees that aren’t confirmed by the end of the 115thCongress in December will have to be re-nominated and resubmitted in the new Congress that will convene in January.

The letter, which can be found here, concluded by arguing, “Much is at stake for American workers and businesses. When construction begins, these projects will directly create tens of thousands of good construction-related jobs, along with thousands more throughout the country producing and supplying needed equipment, materials and services for construction. Without these pipelines in operation, thousands more jobs are at risk because the lack of natural gas transmission and processing capacity will strand potential production.”