The main U.S. energy regulator can get back to the business of approving multibillion-dollar natural gas pipelines after the Senate moved to fill two of four vacancies at the long-crippled agency. Senators on Thursday confirmed the nominations to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of Robert Powelson, former chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, and Neil Chatterjee, a senior aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. With their appointments, the five-seat panel regains the quorum it needs to approve liquefied natural gas export terminals, clear natural gas pipelines and issue rules governing wholesale power markets. FERC was without a quorum for six months, a stalemate that potentially slowed $50 billion of energy ventures under consideration by the agency. “We aren’t counting our chickens yet, but the approvals would certainly be a net positive for midstream industry growth, and, ultimately, for producers and consumers of natural gas,” said […]