Energy secretary nominee Dan Brouillette has promised to keep BPA privatization proposals "off the table," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said at Brouillette's Nov. 14 confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "Privatizing Bonneville Power would hit the Pacific Northwest like a wrecking ball. You answered my question forthrightly, and I appreciate it," Wyden told Brouillette. The Trump administration has proposed selling off BPA transmission assets in past budget requests, but the proposals have gone nowhere in Congress.
Trump on Oct. 15 formally nominated FERC General Counsel James Danly to sit on the commission. If confirmed, Danly would serve out the term of Kevin McIntyre, who died Jan. 2. The term ends June 30, 2023. Danly's confirmation would give FERC three Republican commissioners to one Democrat, Richard Glick. The White House has not said whether Trump plans to nominate a Democrat to fill the vacancy left by Cheryl LaFleur's Aug. 31 departure.
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) plans to retire from Congress at the end of his 11th term in 2021. Walden has represented southern and eastern Oregon in the House since 1999. From 2017 to 2019, he chaired the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has broad jurisdiction over energy, environmental and climate legislation.
Alejandro de Hoz will replace Laura Beane as president and CEO of Portland-based Avangrid Renewables after Beane "decided to leave the company," Avangrid said Oct. 22. De Hoz is currently VP of offshore wind, and parent company Avangrid cited his "experience in both onshore and offshore renewables around the world" as key to helping "lead Avangrid Renewables into this next phase of growth." Beane, who will remain through March 2020 to help with the transition, has been with Avangrid Renewables and its predecessor companies for nearly 24 years. She was named president and CEO in April 2017, promoted from VP of operations and management services.
Gov. Kate Brown has nominated Portland energy lawyer Mark Thompson to replace Stephen Bloom on the Oregon PUC. Thompson, a partner with Sanger and Thompson in Portland, has extensive experience in Northwest energy policy. Bloom was first appointed to the commission in November 2011 by then-Gov. John Kitzhaber and has served two terms. His tenure expires Nov. 30.