President Biden officially named Willie Phillips as the chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday — a position he has held on an acting basis for about a year.
The commission works independently from the Energy Department to make decisions about pipelines, power lines and other cross-state energy issues.
Biden nominated Phillips to the commission in 2021 and made him its acting head after former commissioner and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) President Richard Glick’s term ended.
Currently, he is one of two Democrats on the commission, which also has two Republicans. Since Glick’s term ended, a spot has remained vacant on the panel.
Biden originally named Glick for another term, but his nomination was opposed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Manchin said in 2022 that he was “not comfortable” holding a hearing for Glick.
Phillips was previously the chair of Washington’s Public Service Commission and has also worked for law firms advising on energy policy and rules.