Trump also plans to name Neil Chatterjee, senior energy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as a member of the commission, said people with knowledge of the picks, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The nominations are subject to confirmation by the Senate.
A new commissioner would restore the quorum that the energy agency needs to make decisions on major energy proposals such as interstate gas pipelines and utility mergers. The commission lost that quorum in February when its former chairman Norman Bay resigned.
The White House and energy commission declined to comment. McIntyre and Chatterjee didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump’s nominee may be in for a long wait before the appointment takes effect. The confirmation process could take two to three months, according to Brandon Barnes, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.
Before Bay’s departure last month, the commission rushed to decide on a number of projects including Williams Cos.’s $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise gas expansion project and Energy Transfer Partners LP’s $4.2 billion Rover gas pipeline, both in the Northeast. It also delegated more authority to its staff to help with day-to-day operations.
An independent agency within the U.S. Energy Department, the commission typically has five members who serve five-year terms. Acting chairman Cheryl LaFleur, a Democrat and former utility executive, has been on the commission since 2010. The only other commissioner is Colette Honorable.