Last evening, the United States Senate unanimously confirmed D.C. Public Service Commission Chairman Willie Phillips as a new member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Phillips’ confirmation brings FERC back to its full, five-member complement. “I offer my sincere congratulations to D.C. Public Service Chairman Willie Phillips on his Senate confirmation vote tonight,” FERC Chairman Rich Glick said. 

“As I’ve said, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission functions best when it has a full complement of Commissioners,” Glick added “I very much look forward to welcoming Mr. Phillips to the Commission and working with him soon.” 

The Sierra Club noted in a press release that FERC will make several key decisions in the coming months that could accelerate the transition towards clean energy. The agency is currently reviewing its processes for approving interstate gas pipelines and liquified fracked gas projects. In addition, Sierra Club notes that FERC also faces questions about its process for measuring whether additional gas pipelines are necessary and in the public interest and will be considering changes to wholesale energy markets that would allow for more competition from carbon-free resources and could remove roadblocks to the development of locally owned and operated clean energy and storage projects.

Kelly Sheehan, Senior Director of Energy Campaigns at the Sierra Club said that Phillips must “push the agency to address climate and environmental justice impacts of fracked gas pipelines and export terminals, and accelerate the transition to clean, affordable electricity. With the costs of fossil fuels rising and climate-driven extreme weather worsening, now is the time to act boldly for a clean energy economy.” 

ACORE Congratulates Willie Phillips on Senate Confirmation to FERC

Gregory Wetstone, President and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) also congratulated Phillips and added, “Mr. Phillips is highly qualified, with a deep legal understanding of the issues at stake and a demonstrated record of championing the benefits of renewable energy in our nation’s communities. This is a critical moment for our energy transition, and we’re pleased to see that FERC will finally be operating at full capacity to address the transmission and power market reforms necessary to unlock America’s growing renewable energy economy.”

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