FERC’s McIntyre Dies

Was praised for rejection to coal bailout plan, energy storage

Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Kevin McIntyre died on Wednesday, according to a report from E&E News. He was 57 years old.

McIntyre withdrew as FERC’s chairman in October, as health reasons had caused him to miss two monthly meetings. As FERC chairman, he led the commission to unanimously reject the Trump administration’s plan to support failing coal and nuclear plants.

FERC contains five members on its board, so McIntyre’s death leads to yet another empty seat— former member Bernard McNamee was just confirmed by the Senate in December. FERC has been a chaotic atmosphere since Trump’s election in 2016, experiencing a carousel of board members and chairpersons in the ongoing battle for control over partisan energy policies.

McIntyre had been voted Utility Dive’s Policymaker of the Year following his part in the unanimous rejection of the Trump coal plan.

“Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Kevin McIntyre began the year as an enigma,” Utility Dive’s Gavin Bade wrote December 3, “he ends it as one of the most consequential FERC leaders in recent history.”

Nominated in July 2017, McIntyre was previously a partner at the Cleveland-based law firm, Jones Day. The new FERC chair brought deep experience in energy law when he took his seat in December, but was a relative unknown in Washington policy circles. How he would lead a FERC with three other new regulators in a time of unprecedented political division was an open question.

He began his tenure with the rejection of the coal bailout plan, which was popular in many circles not only for its boldness and defiance of Trump’s “bullying” tactics, but also for its swift and decisive execution.

He followed this with another landmark decision when he implemented the expansion of energy storage laws in February.

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