United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Dec 05, 2020

§ 7171.
Appointment and administration
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; establishment

There is established within the Department an independent regulatory commission to be known as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Composition; term of office; conflict of interest; expiration of terms
The Commission shall be composed of five members appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. One of the members shall be designated by the President as Chairman. Members shall hold office for a term of 5 years and may be removed by the President only for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office. Not more than three members of the Commission shall be members of the same political party. Any Commissioner appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only for the remainder of such term. A Commissioner may continue to serve after the expiration of his term until his successor is appointed and has been confirmed and taken the oath of Office, except that such Commissioner shall not serve beyond the end of the session of the Congress in which such term expires. Members of the Commission shall not engage in any other business, vocation, or employment while serving on the Commission.
Notwithstanding the third sentence of paragraph (1), the terms of members first taking office after April 11, 1990, shall expire as follows:
In the case of members appointed to succeed members whose terms expire in 1991, one such member’s term shall expire on June 30, 1994, and one such member’s term shall expire on June 30, 1995, as designated by the President at the time of appointment.
In the case of members appointed to succeed members whose terms expire in 1992, one such member’s term shall expire on June 30, 1996, and one such member’s term shall expire on June 30, 1997, as designated by the President at the time of appointment.
In the case of the member appointed to succeed the member whose term expires in 1993, such member’s term shall expire on June 30, 1998.
Duties and responsibilities of Chairman

The Chairman shall be responsible on behalf of the Commission for the executive and administrative operation of the Commission, including functions of the Commission with respect to (1) the appointment and employment of hearing examiners in accordance with the provisions of title 5, (2) the selection, appointment, and fixing of the compensation of such personnel as he deems necessary, including an executive director, (3) the supervision of personnel employed by or assigned to the Commission, except that each member of the Commission may select and supervise personnel for his personal staff, (4) the distribution of business among personnel and among administrative units of the Commission, and (5) the procurement of services of experts and consultants in accordance with section 3109 of title 5. The Secretary shall provide to the Commission such support and facilities as the Commission determines it needs to carry out its functions.

Supervision and direction of members, employees, or other personnel of Commission

In the performance of their functions, the members, employees, or other personnel of the Commission shall not be responsible to or subject to the supervision or direction of any officer, employee, or agent of any other part of the Department.

Designation of Acting Chairman; quorum; seal

The Chairman of the Commission may designate any other member of the Commission as Acting Chairman to act in the place and stead of the Chairman during his absence. The Chairman (or the Acting Chairman in the absence of the Chairman) shall preside at all sessions of the Commission and a quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of at least three members present. Each member of the Commission, including the Chairman, shall have one vote. Actions of the Commission shall be determined by a majority vote of the members present. The Commission shall have an official seal which shall be judicially noticed.


The Commission is authorized to establish such procedural and administrative rules as are necessary to the exercise of its functions. Until changed by the Commission, any procedural and administrative rules applicable to particular functions over which the Commission has jurisdiction shall continue in effect with respect to such particular functions.

Powers of Commission

In carrying out any of its functions, the Commission shall have the powers authorized by the law under which such function is exercised to hold hearings, sign and issue subpenas, administer oaths, examine witnesses, and receive evidence at any place in the United States it may designate. The Commission may, by one or more of its members or by such agents as it may designate, conduct any hearing or other inquiry necessary or appropriate to its functions, except that nothing in this subsection shall be deemed to supersede the provisions of section 556 of title 5 relating to hearing examiners.

Principal office of Commission

The principal office of the Commission shall be in or near the District of Columbia, where its general sessions shall be held, but the Commission may sit anywhere in the United States.

Commission deemed agency; attorney for Commission

For the purpose of section 552b of title 5, the Commission shall be deemed to be an agency. Except as provided in section 518 of title 28, relating to litigation before the Supreme Court, attorneys designated by the Chairman of the Commission may appear for, and represent the Commission in, any civil action brought in connection with any function carried out by the Commission pursuant to this chapter or as otherwise authorized by law.

Annual authorization and appropriation request

In each annual authorization and appropriation request under this chapter, the Secretary shall identify the portion thereof intended for the support of the Commission and include a statement by the Commission (1) showing the amount requested by the Commission in its budgetary presentation to the Secretary and the Office of Management and Budget and (2) an assessment of the budgetary needs of the Commission. Whenever the Commission submits to the Secretary, the President, or the Office of Management and Budget, any legislative recommendation or testimony, or comments on legislation, prepared for submission to Congress, the Commission shall concurrently transmit a copy thereof to the appropriate committees of Congress.

(Pub. L. 95–91, title IV, § 401, Aug. 4, 1977, 91 Stat. 582; Pub. L. 101–271, § 2(a), (b), Apr. 11, 1990, 104 Stat. 135.)
cite as: 42 USC 7171