For Immediate Release

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Brian Willis, 202.675.2386,

Trump Admin.’s Frantic Rush of Coal Bailout Backer McNamee a Sign of Politics Entering Into Independent FERC

WASHINGTON - The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee announced today that it will take up the nomination of coal bailout architect Bernard McNamee to FERC next week in a hurried political move to inject the Trump administration’s political agenda of backing unnecessary fracked gas pipelines and supporting a nationwide coal bailout into the historically independent agency.

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

“Bernard McNamee is clearly a political plant by the Trump administration who will rubber stamp dangerous fracked gas pipelines and push coal bailout schemes that will force taxpayers to pay tens of billions of dollars to prop up uneconomic coal plants. Now, the Trump administration and its allies in the Senate are rushing McNamee forward because they know that the more the public learns about his record, the more they will demand he be rejected. 

“McNamee is the architect of the administration’s coal bailout proposal and a corporate polluter careerist. It’s outrageous that Senate Republicans are trying to force his nomination through without due diligence or a reasonable timeline to get all the facts on the record. This is indicative of a concerted effort to erode FERC’s longtime independence and that his nomination is not about his philosophy or qualifications, but the politics of doing the fossil fuel industry’s bidding at the federal level. McNamee represents a threat to the wallets and the health of people across the country. The committee must use next week's hearing to examine his record and past statements to Congress, especially those he has made in support of the coal bailout that FERC voted down earlier this year. After such an examination, it should be clear that McNamee's nomination be rejected by the committee.”


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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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