Trump tabs Chesco PUC member for federal post, report says

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission member Robert F. Powelson, a Kennett Square resident, is in line to be nominated by President Trump for one of three vacancies on a key federal agency that oversees energy projects, according to Washington media reports.

Powelson, 48, will be nominated to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the agency that approves interstate energy-transmission projects, including some of the most controversial natural-gas pipelines now under consideration, according to S&P Global Platts, a provider of energy and commodities information. The five-member commission has three vacancies, and is unable to advance projects without a quorum.

Trump also plans to nominate Jones Day attorney Kevin McIntyre as chairman of the commission and Neil Chatterjee, senior energy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell,  as a member, according to Bloomberg. The  nominations are subject to Senate confirmation.

Powelson, a Republican, was appointed to the PUC in 2008 by Gov. Rendell and reappointed by Gov. Corbett. He was previously president of the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry. In November, he assumed a one-year term as president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners , the Washington advocacy group for state public utility commissioners.

A graduate of St. Joseph's University, Powelson has been a member of the Drexel University board of trustees since 2013.

If Powelson leaves the five-member PUC, Gov. Wolf would have to replace him with another Republican since state law requires the bipartisan commission to have no more than three members from one party.

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