Pipeline Projects in Limbo as Energy Commissioner Departs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Major natural gas pipeline projects along the East Coast and Midwest face months of uncertainty as the federal agency that oversees the work loses a commissioner and will be unable to decide on projects in the Trump administration.

Democrat Norman Bay is stepping down Friday from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, leaving the five-member panel with just two commissioners, one short of a quorum.

Bay’s departure leaves the commission unable to approve or reject natural gas pipelines or settle proposed mergers, including a $12 billion plan to unite Great Plains and Westar energy companies in the Midwest.

At least a half-dozen major pipeline projects totaling more than $10 billion hang in the balance as FERC seeks a third commissioner to allow the commission to resume normal operations.

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