FERC chairman seeks to overcome 'rubber stamp' label

FERC chairman seeks to overcome 'rubber stamp' label

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Kevin McIntyre told state utility commissioners Tuesday that he is bothered by the “rubber stamp” label given to the commission by critics and is seeking changes to the panel’s pipeline review system.

FERC announced in December it would take a “fresh look” at the way it approves natural gas pipelines amid growing clashes between environmental groups and the agency over climate change.

The commission will examine its 1999 policy statement on how it issues permits for new interstate natural gas pipelines.

McIntyre, in his appearance before state utility officials, also urged regional grid operators to not get “hung up” on the concept of “bailouts” as they review the reliability and resilience of their markets.

"Who can argue with that was a completely valid concern?” McIntyre said.

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