The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Lisa Nurnberger,, 202-331-6959

Senate Should Reject FERC Nominee Bernard McNamee

Statement by Rob Cowin, Union of Concerned Scientists


The Senate should reject Bernard McNamee's nomination to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The vote is expected at noon today.

Below is a statement by Rob Cowin, director of government affairs for the Climate and Energy Program at UCS.

"Mr. McNamee's bias, so clearly in favor of fossil fuels and against renewables, should disqualify him for this position. What we need is an impartial regulator who will vote in proceedings fairly.

"The only winner here is the coal industry. States with large renewable energy industries, such as Kansas and Iowa, have a lot to lose. His pro-coal stance means down-wind states, like Maine, have a lot to lose from a public health standpoint. He was part of an effort to force ratepayers to prop up expensive, old coal plants, so consumers have a lot to lose.

"Most of all the climate loses. We have about ten years to aggressively reduce carbon emissions or we are going to destroy this planet, and we are looking at a pro-fossil fuel, anti-renewables political operative with a massive conflict of interest at FERC. The partisanship is really striking."

Read Cowin's blog on how McNamee's appointment would harm ratepayers and the local economies in Kansas and Iowa.

For more background on why McNamee is unsuitable for the position, see UCS Senior Writer Elliott Negin's November 14 column "Senate Should Reject Trump's Coal-Friendly Energy Commission Nominee."

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.