President Donald Trump has designated Neil Chatterjee as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the White House said on Oct. 24. Chatterjee, a Republican from Kentucky, will replace Kevin McIntyre, who stepped down citing health issues.

McIntyre was treated for a brain tumor last year. He reportedly submitted his resignation letter Oct. 22, and has proposed staying on the five-seat panel as a commissioner "while undergoing the treatment necessary to address my health issues."

Chatterjee had served as acting head of FERC for several months before McIntyre was sworn in as the chairman of the agency in December 2017. Chatterjee tweeted about replacing McIntyre in the evening of Oct. 24 saying, “It’s w/ a heavy heart that I step into this role while he focuses on what’s most important.”

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, said in a statement, “I thank Chairman McIntyre for his leadership at the agency, and pray for his swift recovery and return to good health as he continues as a commissioner. I’m confident that Chairman Chatterjee will once again effectively lead the agency, and I will work with my Senate colleagues to restore a full complement of commissioners as quickly as possible.”

FERC regulates interstate transmission and licenses hydropower projects. It is also responsible for approving LNG terminals and natural gas pipelines. There are currently four commissioners serving at FERC – Chairman Neil Chatterjee, Kevin McIntyre, Cheryl LaFleur, and Richard Glick. The president has the authority to designate the chairman of FERC, and does not require Senate approval to do so. The president also recently nominated Bernard McNamee to be a member of FERC, and the committee has scheduled his nomination hearing for Nov. 15.