FERC Commissioner Glick Extends Recusal Period, Impacts Pending PJM Capacity Market Case, Suspended Auction (Subsidized Resource Load Carve-Out)
September 13, 2019 Email This Story Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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FERC Commissioner Richard Glick will recuse himself for a longer period of time from any cases to which Avangrid and its affiliates are a party, which includes pending changes to the PJM capacity market under Docket No. EL18-178 et al.
As FERC currently has only three Commissioners, Glick's recusal would leave FERC without a quorum for any such matters.
Glick will recuse himself from all proceedings to which Avangrid (and its subsidiaries and affiliates) is a party until November 29, 2019. Avangrid is a party to Docket No. EL18-178 et al., which is examining PJM's capacity market, the minimum offer price rule, and a potential carve-out from the market of load associated with state-subsidized resources. See background on the PJM capacity market case here. As part of the proceeding, FERC suspended indefinitely the 2022-23 base residual auction for capacity.
Glick issued a statement which said, "Two days ago I learned that FERC's Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO) had changed his
interpretation of a provision in the Trump Administration's Ethics Pledge signed by all Executive
Branch officials appointed by the President. Prior to and following the day I arrived at the
Commission (November 29, 2017) the DAEO informed me that the Pledge required that I recuse
myself from all proceedings to which AvanGrid (and its affiliates and subsidiaries) was a party based
on my employment with AvanGrid that concluded on February 5, 2016. The DAEO indicated that
this recusal requirement applied only until February, 2018 - two years from the date I left AvanGrid.
The DAEO also pointed out that I would need to continue to recuse myself from individual
proceedings for which I had personally and substantially participated on behalf of the company."
Glick's statement further said, "On September 10, 2019, the DAEO informed me that his previous guidance regarding the Ethics
Pledge requirement was wrong. He said that it is now his understanding that the Ethics Pledge
requires commissioners to recuse themselves from voting in proceedings to which a previous
employer is a party for a period of two years starting on the date of the commissioner's appointment
to FERC. As a result of the DAEO's new interpretation, in my case, the Ethics Pledge requires that I
recuse myself from all proceedings to which AvanGrid (and its subsidiaries and affiliates) is a party
until November 29, 2019."
Glick's statement further said, "In the aftermath of my September 10, 2019 conversation with the DAEO, I immediately ceased work
on all matters related to proceedings to which AvanGrid (and its subsidiaries and affiliates) is a party
and instructed my advisors to do the same. We are also working to identify those proceedings in
which AvanGrid participated where I already cast votes between February 5, 2018 and September
10, 2019 - when the DAEO informed me of his revised interpretation."
Glick's statement further said, "I take very seriously the ethical obligations placed upon the Commission and each commissioner and
I would never knowingly violate any ethical standard whether contained in law, regulation or policy.
Had I known the correct interpretation, I would have continued to recuse myself from all matters
involving AvanGrid. I also believe it is important that I act as transparently as possible each and
every day that I serve as a commissioner."