House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and Subcommittee on the Environment Ranking Member Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) raised concerns about Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Commissioner Allison Clements’ possible conflicts of interest after a review of public records revealed her failure to disclose her spouse’s financial stake in the renewable energy company Sol Systems, LLC. The law requires the Commissioner, who oversees the energy industry, to identify matters which may implicate personal financial interests and make the appropriate recusals.
“We are conducting oversight of your potential conflicts of interest as a Commissioner for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Based on a review of Office of Government Ethics (OGE) public records, your current filings with OGE fail to disclose your spouse’s connection with the industry you oversee. Your spouse, Ray Henger, is currently employed by Sol Systems, LLC—a renewable energy company—but the disclosures you have made to OGE make no reference to this connection. Your position as a regulator of your spouse’s industry requires you to identify matters that may implicate your personal financial interests and make the appropriate recusals as required by law. This lack of transparency is particularly troubling given recent efforts by FERC to block natural gas pipelines—making the United States more dependent on Russian energy.,” wrote the lawmakers.
According to a 2020 Ethics Agreement filed with OGE, Commissioner Clements identified her spouse as working with Sustainable Power Group, LLC. In the Ethics Agreement, she agreed to not participate in any matter that has a direct effect on her spouse’s compensation, unless obtaining a written waiver. However, no records indicate that she made similar commitments regarding her spouse’s position with Sol Systems. Sol Systems is a member of the board of the Solar Energy Industries Association, which has petitioned or communicated with FERC regarding matters regulated by FERC.
“As a FERC Commissioner, your failure to identify your connection with the green industry is troubling. According to the Wall Street Journal, FERC has recently taken steps to block U.S. natural gas pipelines…Instead of helping struggling Americans at the gas pump, the White House appears to be spending billions of dollars on green technology. While transitioning to renewables is a fine goal, until it comes to fruition the U.S. and Europe are padding the pockets of Putin to the severe detriment of the Ukrainian people. Your spouse’s employment with Sol Systems—which participates in industry groups that petition FERC—and your apparent failure to disclose or seek a waiver for these connections requires further information from you,” concluded the lawmakers.
The lawmakers request all documents and communications related to Sol Systems, including any recusals or waivers sought.
The letter can be found here.