When Neil Chatterjee was appointed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by President Trump in 2017, stakeholders in the climate and clean energy space were concerned about what his agenda would be. Headlines dubbed him “McConnell’s coal guy” and “fossil-fuel champion Chatterjee,” referring to his role as a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky). 

But Chatterjee has proven to be much more than a “coal guy,” despite his sympathies for struggling Kentucky coal communities. The Republican leader recently voted in favor of rules supporting distributed energy resources and carbon pricing, and views these decisions as powerful steps in advancing the energy transition. 

His openness to supporting policies that benefit clean energy may have cost him his leadership position at FERC. President Trump demoted Chatterjee from the chairman role last month, although he remains on the commission and will serve alongside two new appointees confirmed by the Senate this week.

In this episode of Political Climate, we speak to FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee about several of the agency’s recent rulemakings, past controversies and his outlook for the future of U.S. energy policy in today’s shifting political landscape.

Recommended reading:

  • GTM: Why Rick Perry’s Coal-Friendly Market Intervention Was Legally Doomed
  • GTM: FERC Orders PJM to Restrict State-Backed Renewables in Its Capacity Market
  • Utility Dive: FERC confirms carbon pricing jurisdiction in wholesale markets, Chatterjee 'encourages' proposals
  • Utility Dive: Competitive generators move away from FERC's PJM order, toward carbon pricing
  • GTM: ‘Game-Changer’ FERC Order Opens Up Wholesale Grid Markets to Distributed Energy Resources
  • Quartz: How one obscure federal agency is clearing the path for a U.S. carbon price
  • The Hill: Senate approves two energy regulators, completing panel

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