FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee, open to carbon pricing and renewables, is demoted by Trump


Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Neil Chatterjee, a Republican, gave a keynote at a REFF Wall Street in September, noting he had accepted a petition for a technical conference on carbon pricing.

It’s this type of thinking that “perhaps” got Chaterjee fired.

The Trump administration removed Neil Chatterjee as FERC chairman, replacing him with GOP commissioner James Danly. Chatterjee will remain as a commissioner through the end of his term in June 2021, according to the Washington Examiner.

Chatterjee, in an interview with the paper, said that “perhaps” the Trump administration was retaliating against him for his recent actions.

This is what Chaterjee had to say about carbon pricing: “When we received the petition asking us to look at the intersection of carbon pricing and the markets we oversee, I was truly struck by the diverse array of stakeholders that joined the petition and asked us with one voice to have this conversation. When such a broad set of interested parties ask a regulatory agency to use its convening power to host a dialogue, I think it’s important to not just set it up, but to sit up, to pay attention and do what you can to help create an exchange of ideas.”

“This is the first time the commission has ever explored these issues and I’m proud that it’s doing so under my leadership.”

Chaterjee helped usher through FERC Order 841, which allows energy storage to participate in wholesale regional markets.

He said, “When I look back at my time at FERC, I think I’ll be able to say that our work on Order 841 was one of the most important things we accomplished during my tenure as chairman, when it comes to the energy transition. Order 841 is our landmark rulemaking to break down market barriers to storage and require regional market operators to facilitate the participation of energy storage resources in their markets. Though our action was challenged in the courts, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the rulemaking on the merits — finding that first action was solidly within our statutory authority. That was a huge and welcome victory.”

Chaterjee was also bullish on renewables, saying, “I believe the cost of renewables has already come down to such a point that there’s a strong market based business driven case for the accelerated deployment of renewables. And I only believe that that is going to continue and that renewables will thrive in an efficient market environment,” assured the FERC Chairman.

And FERC order 2222 happened on Chaterjee’s watch, the order lets distributed energy resources (DERs), like rooftop solar and storage, participate alongside traditional resources in the regional organized wholesale energy markets.

Chatterjee was appointed by President Trump in 2017.

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