United States: President Trump Makes Key Energy Regulatory Appointments

Last Updated: February 20 2017
Article by Daniel J. Bleiberg

President Donald J. Trump has named several individuals to play key roles in advancing the President's "America First" energy plan: (i) former Texas Governor James Richard "Rick" Perry as Secretary of Energy; (ii) FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur as Acting Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC" or "Commission"); and (iii) Nuclear Regulatory Commission ("NRC") Commissioner Kristine Svinicki as Chairman of the NRC. President Trump's energy plan is focused on reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil; reducing or eliminating a number of policies and regulations in the energy industry, such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule; maximizing domestic production of shale gas; and "reviving" the U.S. coal industry.

Secretary of Energy. On December 14, 2016, President Trump announced his intention to appoint Perry to head the Department of Energy. Perry–the 47th Governor of Texas and a two-time Presidential candidate–was widely seen as an unusual pick, given his 2012 campaign promise to abolish the agency he has now been selected to lead, a position he has since renounced. Nonetheless, Perry is familiar with energy issues, having led a state that produces significant amounts of the nation's crude oil and natural gas supply and has a robust wind industry.

At his confirmation hearing on January 19, 2017, Perry outlined his vision for the role of the Department of Energy, which includes continuing efforts to protect and modernize the country's nuclear stockpile, ensuring reliability of the electric power grid against cybersecurity attacks, improving the country's emergency response efforts, and overseeing and developing energy policies that will stimulate economic growth and produce jobs. Perry indicated that he will take an "all of the above" approach to the use of energy resources, ensuring that all resources are used to maximize domestic energy production. Additionally, Perry expressed a commitment to fostering scientific and climate research and protecting the environment. On January 31, 2017, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 16-7 in favor of confirming Perry, clearing the way for an expected confirmation by the full chamber.

Acting FERC Chairman. On January 26, 2017, President Trump named Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur as the Acting Chairman of FERC, replacing then-current Chairman Norman Bay, who, with LaFleur's appointment, was demoted to Commissioner. LaFleur has been a member of the Commission since her appointment in 2010 and served as Acting Chairman from November 2013 to July 2014, as well as Chairman from July 2014 to April 2015. The appointment of LaFleur, a Democrat, as Acting Chairman is only temporary, as President Trump is expected to nominate a Republican Chairman, as well as two other Republicans to fill the Commission's two vacant Commissioner seats. It is not immediately known when, or who, President Trump will nominate to fill the vacant Commissioner positions; however, there is some speculation that Neil Chatterjee, senior adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is among those to be named.

The appointment of LaFleur as Acting Chairman was not without controversy. Mere hours after LaFleur was named Acting Chairman, Commissioner Bay announced his resignation from the Commission, effective February 3, 2017, more than one year before his term was set to expire. With Bay's departure from FERC, the Commission is left with only two sitting members of the Commission, which is one member short of the quorum needed to conduct many facets of Commission business.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman. On January 26, 2017, President Trump appointed Commissioner Kristine Svinicki, a Republican, as Chairman of the NRC. Svinicki, a nuclear engineer, served for more than 10 years as an aide to Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and former Senator John Warner (R-VA) on the Senate Armed Services Committee before she was appointed as a Commissioner on the NRC by President George W. Bush in 2008. President Barack Obama reappointed Svinicki to a second five-year term in 2012. Svinicki replaces Stephen Burns, an Independent, who was nominated to the NRC by President Obama in 2014, and will remain on the NRC alongside Commissioner Jeffery Baran, a Democrat, appointed in 2013. Two other seats are currently vacant on the NRC, which can be composed of no more than three Commissioners from any single political party.

Svinicki's reappointment to the NRC by President Obama in 2012 produced some controversy within the Democratic Party, as Svinicki assisted in the planning of a nuclear waste repository in Nevada's Yucca Mountain. Former Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has opposed construction of the Yucca Mountain facility, and Congress has not appropriated any new funding to the construction of the Yucca Mountain facility since 2010. However, at his confirmation hearing on January 19, 2017, Perry would not foreclose the possibility of storing nuclear waste in the Yucca Mountain facility in the future.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions