FERC Nominee Who Slammed Renewable Energy, Pushed Coal Bailout Narrowly Passes Senate
EWG: McNamee’s Claim of Impartiality a ‘Charade’
WASHINGTON - The Senate today narrowly approved President Trump’s nominee for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission who has openly criticized renewable energy and played a key role in the administration’s efforts to bail out the failing coal and nuclear industries.
The Senate voted 50 to 49 to confirm Bernard McNamee to be one of five commissioners of the FERC, which is supposed to operate as an independent agency that impartially regulates and investigates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, hydropower and oil.
McNamee, currently a senior advisor to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, played a key role in producing Perry’s ill-fated proposal to prop up dirty, dying and dangerous coal and nuclear power. FERC rejected Perry’s scheme in January 2018.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Get our best delivered to your inbox.
A recently resurfaced video from Febrary 2018, first published by Utility Dive, shows McNamee, then an employee of the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, delivering a speech before Texas state lawmakers in which he slammed renewable energy sources and lambasted environmentalists. McNamee said fossil fuels are “key to our way of life,” while renewable energy “screws up the whole physics of the grid.”
In his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, McNamee nonetheless testified that he could be a “fair, objective and impartial arbiter” in cases that come before FERC. EWG President Ken Cook said McNamee’s record shows just the opposite.
“McNamee’s enthusiasm for dirty fossil fuels and his antipathy toward clean, renewable energy is undeniable, and his claim of impartiality is a blatant charade,” said Cook. “At a time when consumers, businesses and forward-thinking utilities are embracing the clean energy revolution, we don’t need a FERC commissioner who endorses the Trump administration’s schemes to keep the dying coal and nuclear industries on life support.”
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.
Please select a donation method:
The mission of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment. EWG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded in 1993 by Ken Cook and Richard Wiles.