For Immediate Release

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Brian Willis, 202.675.2386, Brian.Willis@sierraclub.org

Bernard McNamee Would Lead the Charge at FERC to Bail Out Old, Expensive Coal Plants

WASHINGTON - Media outlets reported today that the Trump Administration is planning to nominate Department of Energy official Bernard McNamee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in order to fill the seat of resigning commissioner Robert Powelson. McNamee helped roll out Energy Secretary Rick Perry's failed coal and nuclear bailout proposal last year, which would have cost electricity customers billions of dollars, and has been a lifelong proponent of dirty fossil fuels.

In response, Mary Anne Hitt, Senior Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, released the following statement:

“Bernard McNamee’s record makes it clear that he would erode FERC’s independence and push for taxpayers to be forced into a massive bailout of failing coal and nuclear plants. From celebrating Earth Day by publishing pro-fossil fuel editorials, to leading the rollout of Trump’s previous coal bailout boondoggle, Bernard McNamee has a checkered past that makes him unfit to serve at FERC. If McNamee is confirmed to FERC, he will abuse that authority to lead the charge to force taxpayers to spend tens of billions of dollars to bail out old, expensive coal and nuclear plants, at the expense of cleaner, cheaper competitors like solar, wind, and grid storage. Since many coal and nuclear plants can’t compete in the market anymore, Trump is hoping to install a crony at FERC who will unfairly tip the scales in favor of propping up those failing industries. It’s outrageous that someone so clearly biased, who has championed an expensive and unnecessary bailout for millionaire Trump supporters, is even being considered as a commissioner to this independent agency, and we’ll do everything we can stop his nomination.”

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