January 27, 2020

Wyden Calls for Appointment of Full, Bipartisan FERC Before It Rules on Proposed Jordan Cove Energy Project

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today expressed serious concerns about two current vacancies on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and called for Donald Trump to appoint a full and bipartisan commission before the independent regulatory agency rules on the proposed Jordan Cove Energy Project in Oregon.

In a letter to Trump, Wyden noted that with only three of five commissioners in place the longstanding bipartisan tradition of FERC could be jeopardized as it considers the merits of complex projects—and that without a full complement of FERC commissioners in place, there is uncertainty and distrust in the commission’s decisions.

“I have long demanded that Oregonians receive a fair, open, fact-based, and non-political process while FERC determines whether LNG projects are necessary and in the public’s best interest. Vacancies and political pressure on the Commission hinders its ability to fulfill the role of an independent regulatory agency,” Wyden said. “To properly consider, assess, and permit complex and often controversial projects, FERC must determine the public benefit of all proposals in a thoughtful, bipartisan way. To do so, pairing any Republican nominee with a Democratic nominee is critical.”

Wyden cited a recent FERC ruling that favored coal and other thermal generation in the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland Interconnection (PJM) region and threatens to reverse decades of state-level policy and raise utility bills for families in the region. The decision raises question about whether or not the Commission delayed its ruling until Commissioner LaFleur stepped down.

“Before an incomplete FERC rules on Jordan Cove and other complex projects, I urge you to appoint a full and bipartisan commission. Otherwise, any decision over the proposed Jordan Cove Energy Project could be interpreted as lacking a full, fair consideration and therefore inherently political,” Wyden concluded.

A full copy of the letter can be found here.