President Trump on Wednesday officially nominated Bernard McNamee, the head of the Energy Department’s Office of Policy, to fill an open seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The long-rumored move would replace an opponent of Trump’s efforts to subsidize money-losing coal and nuclear plants with someone involved in drafting the plan that the panel has so far rejected.

FERC is an independent agency that oversees wholesale electricity markets and reviews interstate pipeline applications.

In January, FERC unanimously rejected a proposal from Energy Secretary Rick Perry to provide special payments to coal and nuclear plants for their ability to store fuel on-site for 90 days. McNamee helped write the proposal and sell it to Congress.

The commissioner he is replacing, Republican Robert Powelson, vehemently opposed the plan, saying it would disrupt competitive power markets that reward the lowest cost resource, and cause utility bills to increase.

Now, the Energy Department, on the orders of Trump, is considering a new proposal that may come before FERC, potentially using executive national security powers to force wholesale power operators to buy power from a list of coal and nuclear plants deemed “critical” to the grid.

McNamee would have to be confirmed by the Senate to join FERC. He would fill a commission that has two Republicans, Chairman Kevin McIntyre, and Neal Chatterjee, and two Democrats, Cheryl LaFleur and Richard Glick.

McNamee has been chief of DOE’s policy office since May. Before that, he led the Tenth Amendment center at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank that opposes propping up coal and nuclear plants.

He also has utility law experience, representing electric and gas utilities before state utility commissions in two stints at the firm McGuireWoods LLP.

While, at first glance, opponents of subsidizing uneconomic coal and nuclear plants would have reason to worry about McNamee, supporters of his describe a principled, serious, independent figure who would approach his new job without a bias in favor of Trump's agenda.

“If the Trump administration's goal is to politicize FERC, they picked the wrong person,” Kenny Stein, director of policy and federal affairs for the American Energy Alliance, told the Washington Examiner in an August interview, when McNamee’s name first surfaced for the job.

“Bernie is not going to do that. He has decades of experience doing filings with FERC, going before FERC. He is very familiar with independent role of the commission. So I won't expect him to try to upend the commission, or its process or goals.”

Stein worked with McNamee when they were both policy advisers for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, from 2013 to 2014.

Allies say his work for Cruz, and in other stops, reveal McNamee to be a supporter of free-market principles, who dislikes subsidies and would oppose efforts to favor coal and nuclear over other energy sources.

But McNamee skeptics note that he helped draft the Perry plan and has defended it in testimony before Congress.

"A lot of the organized markets have distortions in them that aren’t representative of an actual free-serving market, so the thought is you need to remove some of those distortions and get some more parity," McNamee said at a July 19 Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing.

McNamee, during his time working for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, also wrote an Earth Day op-ed supporting fossil fuels as good for health and the environment.