US President Donald Trump nominated Indian-American Neil Chatterjee to a key administration position in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an agency charged with overseeing America's power grid and deciding on multibillion-dollar energy projects. In other developments, Senate Minority leader Charles Schumer has formally recommended that President Trump to select Indian-American Rohit Chopra to serve as a commissioner in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Sanjay Puri, Chairman, US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC), welcomed the announcements and said, “USINPAC will continue to recommend Indian-American professionals to key positions in this administration as it will be well served by some of the best and brightest in our community.”
The White House, in a statement, credited Chatterjee with playing an integral role in the passage of major energy, highway, and farm legislation. Chatterjee needs to be vetted by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee before a confirmation vote by the Senate. Chairperson of the committee, Senate Murkowski, has said she plans to clear nominees as quickly as possible.
Dave McCurdy, CEO of the American Gas Association, called for a prompt Senate confirmation in order to “allow FERC to continue its important work for the natural gas industry - including timely decisions on pending and future interstate natural gas infrastructure project certificates." Several pipeline decisions are currently before the commission.
A graduate of St Lawrence University and the University of Cincinnati College of Law, Chatterjee began his career in Washington, DC, with the House Committee on Ways and Means. He has served as a Principal in Government Relations for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and as an aide to House Republican Conference Chairwoman Pryce of Ohio. He led McConnell’s campaign to convince states to oppose the Clean Power Plan, and worked to lift the ban on crude oil exports.
Senator Schumer described Chopra as a leader, as someone who puts the interests of consumers above all else. Chopra is currently serving as a Senior Fellow at the Consumer Federation of America, where he leads the organisation's research and advocacy on consumer protection in consumer finance and higher education. Prior to this position, he served as Special Adviser to the Secretary of Education. He holds a BA from Harvard College and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
The US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) is the voice of over 3.2 million Indian- Americans and works on issues that concern the community. It supports candidates for local, state and federal office and encourages political participation by the Indian-American community.