New FERC members are needed

A major natural gas pipeline serving our region will be built as a result of a decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The $4.3 billion Rover Pipeline should ease the problem of gas “locked in” to West Virginia and East Ohio because there is no way to ship it.

But the Rover project may have sneaked in just under the wire. On Friday, FERC member Norman Bay resigned from his post.

That leaves the commission with just two members. Because it is constituted as a five-member panel, the FERC cannot transact business until at least one more member is appointed by President Donald Trump.

Don’t blame Trump for the roadblock, however. The FERC has been short two members for several months. Former President Barack Obama simply let the vacancies slide.

Trump should make it a priority to appoint new members to the commission. Until he does, billions of dollars’ worth of pipelines cannot be approved or constructed.