Rod Kuckro and Sam Mintz, E&E News
Robert Powelson's departure from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission leaves the agency without its most experienced hand on state regulatory affairs at a time when turbulent policy debates about electric grid reliability and the impact of natural gas pipelines and their emissions are ripening.
Powelson's departure will leave FERC with a split commission, two Republicans and two Democrats, until a replacement is nominated by President Trump and confirmed by the Senate.
Powelson, a Republican, announced yesterday afternoon on Twitter that he is leaving to become the president and CEO of the National Association of Water Companies, the lobby for the nation's private water utilities. He will leave FERC in mid-August.
"It is with mixed emotions that I issue the following statement. It has been an honor to serve this great country. My family and I are deeply appreciative of this opportunity. FERC is a world class organization. Thanks to you, fellow FERCians!" he wrote.
"Sad to hear this news. You will be missed. That's one lucky trade assn," said Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur on Twitter.