June 12, 2024

Manchin Takes to Senate Floor Again in Support of FERC Nominees

Washington, DC – Today, Senator Joe Manchin (I-WV), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, spoke on the Senate floor ahead of the second series of votes to confirm three nominees to serve as Commissioners on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).Chairman Manchin spoke about the importance of a full complement of five Commissioners to continue FERC’s vital work safeguarding energy affordability and reliability for American consumers and voiced his support for Lindsay S. See and Judy W. Chang, whose nominations will be voted on today and tomorrow. The Chairman voted for all three nominations last week in Committee and reiterated his support for them.

Chairman Manchin’s remarks as delivered are below:

I spoke at some length about the important work of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday.

I spoke also about the statutory requirement that Commission members be able “to assess fairly the needs and concerns of all interest affected by Federal energy policy.”

I believe that is why an earlier Congress, when it created the Department of Energy in 1977 and concentrated most energy functions in the hands of the Secretary of Energy, insisted on maintaining a separate, independent, five-member collegial body for electric and natural gas regulation. 

When it comes to fairly assessing all interests, five heads are better than one.

Bringing together five different people, with five different life experiences and perspectives, helps ensure that all affected interests will be heard and fairly considered and assessed.

David Rosner, Lindsay See and Judy Chang are very different people, from very different backgrounds. 

What matters most is their willingness to work with one another, to consider and assess fairly different interests and points of view, and to put partisan passions aside in favor of the public interest.

After meeting all three, listening to them testify, and watching them respond to Senators’ questions, I am convinced that all three are willing and able to work with each other and with Chairman Phillips and Commissioner Christie on the Commission to ensure energy reliability and affordability for American consumers. 

Lindsay See is currently the Solicitor General of West Virginia, a post she has held for the past six years.  

In that role, she represents my state’s legal interests in both state and federal courts, including before the U.S. Supreme Court.

As Lindsay explained in her testimony before our committee, “energy-adjacent matters are front-and-center” for West Virginia’s Solicitor General, and she has worked on “dozens of cases and rulemakings” which demonstrated “that grid reliability, regulatory certainty and affordable energy are essentials.” 

Prior to her appointment as Solicitor General, she served as a special assistant in the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office for two years.

Before that, she practiced appellate and administrative law for five years at a law firm here in in Washington, D.C.  

After graduating from Harvard Law School, she clerked for Judge Thomas Griffith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

She is plainly a very capable and experienced lawyer and well qualified to serve on the Commission. 

Judy Chang is an energy economics and policy expert with more than 20 years of experience working with energy companies, trade associations, and governments on regulatory and financial issues, as they relate to investment decisions in energy generation, transmission, and storage. 

She served as the Undersecretary of Energy and Climate Solutions, under Governor Charles Baker of Massachusetts, where she helped develop Massachusetts’ Clean Energy and Climate Plan.

I can think of no better preparation for serving on a bipartisan commission than working for a Republican administration in a very blue state.

Judy has also been an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Senior Fellow at the Kennedy School’s Center for Business and Government. 

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California at Davis and a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Energy reliability and affordability is perhaps more personal to Judy than most of us. In her testimony before our committee, Judy explained that when she was growing up in Taiwan, power outages were a daily event. 

She said that “from a young age, my parents instilled in me the principle that no resource should ever be wasted, working hard to save every penny.”

We will all be served well by having that perspective on the commission.

We have three extremely qualified, capable, honorable people who are willing to serve our great country. 

I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting both Lindsay See’s and Judy Chang’s nominations today.