Indian-American Neil Chatterjee was on Wednesday picked as the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by the Trump administration. Chatterjee, who is the FERC commissioner would replace Kevin McIntyre as chairman of the agency charged with overseeing America’s power grid and deciding on multibillion-dollar energy projects. McIntyre resigned on October 22 citing health reasons.
“Trump designates Neil Chatterjee to be Chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,” the White House said in a statement. He is currently one of the three commissioners of FERC.
This is for the second time that Chatterjee has been designated as FERC chairman. He served briefly as FERC chairman from August 10, 2017 to December 7, when McIntyre became its head.
Chatterjee, who was energy policy advisor to US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has played an integral role in the passage of major energy, highway and farm legislation. He has worked with McConnell for eight years before moving to FERC
Chatterjee’s parents moved to the US from Kolkata some 50 years ago. A Lexington, Kentucky native, Chatterjee was an alumnus of St Lawrence University and the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
Prior to serving Leader McConnell, he worked as a principal in Government Relations for National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and as an aide to House Republican Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce of Ohio.
The FERC is responsible for overseeing electricity markets and ensuring just and reasonable rates; approving applications for infrastructure projects; and playing a role in cyber security and defences. The agency has a very important role in policymaking.