Commissioner Christian Encourages U.S. Senate to Confirm FERC Nominees

July 26, 2017

AUSTIN– Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian today sent a letter to U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz expressing the importance of confirming Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) nominees, Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson, before the Senate adjourns for its August recess. 

In his letter, Commissioner Christian explained that for the first time in 40 years, FERC lacks the proper number of members to meet a quorum. Without a voting quorum, FERC cannot approve energy infrastructure projects for the benefit of energy development in our country. 

“If the Senate fails to act, nearly two dozen pipeline projects totaling nearly $25 billion in investments and 75,000 jobs are at risk,” said Christian. “Confirmation of these two nominees will restore a quorum to the commission and allow it to conduct business so these critical projects can move forward. 

“It is essential that the Senate move forward with the nomination of these two individuals before August recess,” continued Christian.  “Tens of millions of investor dollars and thousands of well-paying jobs are on hold while these projects sit in limbo, awaiting approval from FERC. The economic consequences resulting from the delay in confirming the FERC nominees is a tremendous and unnecessary waste to the American taxpayer.”

A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives. During this time, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit