News, Policy & Regulation

Trump names Danly as new chair at FERC after Chatterjee carbon pricing comment

Danly

One of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s newest commissioners is now its chairman.

President Trump announced that James Danley will take the center role at FERC. He joined the commission as a member in March, but served as general counsel in 2017.

Danly replaces Neil Chatterjee as chairman of the agency which regulates interstate electricity transmission and natural gas infrastructure. Chatterjee has been chair twice during his three-year tenure.

Chatterjee

“It’s been the honor of a lifetime to serve as @FERC chairman,” he wrote on Twitter. “I want to congratulate my colleague and friend James Danley who @POTUS has named as chairman. I want to congratulate my colleague and friend James Danly who has named as chairman. We’ve got more work to do and I look forward to continuing to serve out my term as commissioner.”

Danly returned the compliment.

“Neil has truly left his mark on FERC and the energy sector by brokering a significant agreement allowing us to move forward with liquefied natural gas terminals, which helped secure our American energy independence,” he said. “He also made a lasting impact through his commitment to protecting competitive markets, modernizing our policies under PURPA, expediting the approvals of much-needed critical energy infrastructure and so much more. I thank Neil for his leadership, and I look forward to continuing to work with him in this new role.”

The mutual admiration doesn’t reveal a possible negative undercurrent in the change. The Washington Examiner reported that Trump replaced Chatterjee because the chairman had appeared to publicly favor carbon pricing in combating climate change.

Prior to joining the Commission, he was a member of the energy regulation and litigation group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP.
Prior to this Danly served as law clerk to Judge Danny Boggs at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He was a managing director of the Institute for the Study of War, a military think tank in Washington, D.C., and served an International Affairs Fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations.