Chairman's Hasty Exit Threatens To Cripple FERC

By Keith Goldberg (January 27, 2017, 6:08 PM EST) -- The fast-approaching departure of Norman Bay will leave the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with just two commissioners, an unprecedented situation for the agency that will prevent it from taking any major actions, such as approving natural gas pipelines, imposing enforcement penalties and ruling on electricity rate and tariff fights.

Bay said Thursday that he would step down Feb. 3, the news breaking shortly after President Donald J. Trump demoted him from the chairman position and elevated Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur to an acting-chair role.

Former President Barack Obama had appointed Bay as FERC chairman amid heavy Republican opposition. And while few expected...

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